More Than One

Today’s Featured Image:

“The Sisters” by Abbott Handerson Thayer, 1884

Do this for me: consider painting a portrait. How would you pose the figure? What are the dominant traits you’re trying to convey? Now consider adding a second figure. Suddenly the options for composition, narrative, and character expand. How do the people relate and interact? What’s their story? How do you express this with line and color? Yes, we need one more category. Let’s call it “More Than One.” Over time, we’ll take a look at groups of people and consider successful, and perhaps, not so successful attempts to capture their dynamic.

When all is said and done, and one reviews a lifetime of works by an artist (any artist, be it painter, writer, sculptor, dancer, musician, whatever), if that artist is lucky, there will be one or two pieces deemed “Masterpiece.” They will stand above the others. They will catch the eye or the throat or the heart and shout, “This! This is the best work.”

This painting by Abbott Handerson Thayer is in that category. It depicts two sisters — Bessie and Clara Stillman. For me, the relationship is what stands out. You understand immediately what these two women are about.

I’m always pleased when Wiki confirms my opinion. Below is a link to the Wiki page about the painting. It contains basic information about its history and artistic merit. No need to duplicate the news here. Give it a click if you want to learn more.

Song of the Day: “You Are My Sister” by Antony and the Johnsons

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