Fantasy Interview: Lee Miller

…we gathered every summer on the beaches in the South of France, a happy family... in Mougins, above Antibes, lunching and dining on the grapevine sheltered pergola.
— Man Ray

Summer 1937. The Spanish Civil War was raging and Europe was soon to be engulfed by a second major conflict. Yet here we have a group of friends enjoying a summer holiday, a final fling full of long lunches and frolics on the beach. The bohemian gang of artists included Picasso who must have taken a shine to American model and photographer Lee Miller for he painted her six times that summer and in return she took hundreds of photographs of him. A brief love affair became a lasting friendship; astonishingly the pair were reunited during the liberation of Paris in 1944. By now Vogue's war correspondent, Miller went to his studio to look for him, whereupon Picasso exclaimed ‘the first Allied soldier I should see is a woman – and that woman is you!’ The relief and joy is almost tangible in this photo. To see more about Miller's extraordinary life visit her farmhouse home in Sussex.

Words by Daisy Allsup. The Iris Letter August 2016