"small, very dark, with her hair cut like Joan of Arc in the Boutet de Monvel illustrations"
Alice B. Toklas, by Carl Van Vechten - 1949

Similar to lover Gertrude Stein, Alice Babette Toklas was born to a Jewish family in the United States. Moving to Paris in September 1907, she met Stein -- 'a golden brown presence, burned by the Tuscan sun and with a golden glint in her warm brown hair' -- on her first day in the city. Toklas began co-habiting with Stein in 1910, and the pair would host the famed dinner parties of 27 Rue de Fleurus.

Although Toklas -- 'a chain smoker with a slight moustache, Gypsy earrings, and manicured nails' -- became widely recognised through the publication of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (actually penned by Stein) in 1933, she remained very much the 'wife' in the relationship, supporting Stein's endeavours and running the household. Her own memoirs were published after Gertrude's death in the form of The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook (1954), which notoriously contains a recipe for hashish fudge.


Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel (1851–1913) was a French painter and illustrator highly regarded for his artistic contributions to children's literature. His seminal work is widely held to be La Vie de Jeanne d’Arc (Paris, 1896), for which he provided both artwork and writing. Boutet de Monvel's depiction of Joan of Arc was described by critic Selma G. Lanes as having 'a nobility and grandeur akin to the great church frescoes of the Renaissance. Their pleasingly flat rendering combined with a sophisticated use of design elements… owe a debt to the Japanese prints so popular in the artist's day.' (Selma G. Lanes (2006). Through the Looking Glass: Further Adventures and Misadventures in the Realm of Children's Literature. David R. Godine Publisher. p. 223–224. Retrieved 2008-10-25)

Jeanne D Arc Boutet de Monvel 25
Public DomainJeanne D Arc Boutet de Monvel 25 - Credit: Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel (1851-1913)