...Over her paint and her colours bentCan paint what it is to be innocent.Life, add thy wisdom, and at length bring usWhere springs the fountain of her genius.Walter de la Mare
A few years ago, a couple found a small but elegant drawing of a young girl playing with her pets hanging at an art dealers. Intrigued by the intricate detail of the work, they brought the drawing home. The wife, Leonie Summers, an art-historian, established that their treasure was by an artist called Pamela Bianco, who died in New York in 1994.
For a while the story stopped there and searches to identify Bianco through English art books seemed fruitless. But fascinated by the young age of the artist (Pamela was only 12 when she had painted the picture) Summers decided to probe further and found that this gifted soul had been a child prodigy in the 1920s, who, aged six months, had been bathed by Picasso, and that by the age of 40 she had become an American modernist artist, beloved throughout her life by artists and patrons as wide ranging as Walter de la Mare, the Gershwin brothers, Mrs Whitney and Gabriel D’Annunzio.