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March 29, 2006


Mary Tess

Thank you for posting the gorgeous pictures. They remind me why pink is my favorite color.


I LOVE Whistler...


I wonder if the Grafton Portrait actually has all that much merit. Personally I think it's flat,disappointing and find it hard to imagine what the painter had been trying to say. Costume can be anything the painter or sitter wants, and here it seems to be no real guide. If no-one had tried to attribute the subject I suspect the painting would be unknown. The Anguissola is a real portrait, however!


Anna, I'm not so sure about the Grafton portrait, either, although I don't think we could expect something wonderful. Obviously the painter was not Holbein (or, forgive me, whoever was the top portrait painter in 1588, as HH was dead by then!). It seems to me on a par, psychology-wise, with a lot of Elizabethan portraits, that is, rather flat and unsatisfying. While Shakespeare would likely have had access to expensive clothing (although poor himself), he would be much less likely to have sat for a top court painter.

I am utterly fascinated by Anguissola. Her works are not always of the same quality and polish -- but frankly, whose are? and this makes her to me all the more interesting. I was not in fact atal familiar with this particular portrait, but it is very characteristic of Anguissola in that she takes great care with the painting -- the balance, the handling of the luscious velvet, etc. -- and although she does not flatter the subject, obviously a wealthy but rather dumpy and homely woman, she still regards her with sympathy and perception.

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  • “Compassion is not religious business, it is human business; it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability; it is essential for human survival.”

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