Above: The Hands of Dr. Pozzi
In the portrait above, a man poses in a red house robe. We come to learn that this is the portrait of Dr. Pozzi, a famed nineteenth century gynecologist. You have to appreciate the artist’s sense of humor showing such a doctor posed nearly, but not quite, naked in his bathrobe. Like the patients he serves, he casually holds the sides of his robe together with his long elegant surgeon hands. Another hand is draped playfully over the belt loops as if the robe were about to open. It is a very sexy and improper portrait of a doctor who tends to a woman’s intimate medical needs.
1. detail of Isabella Stewart Gardner. This important American collector played a big part in the career of Sargent. Notice the way her arms are posed as a ballerina with her white patrician hands clasped at the bottom to mirror the pearl necklace she wears at her neck and waistline. The portrait was meant to mimic the daring style of Madame X
2. detail of Asher Wertheimer, leading art dealer in London. The hand perfectly characterizes the cigar chomping high flying Jewish business man.
6. detail from Portrait of a Boy This portrait was another trade the artist did with yet another artist friend. The relaxed hands mimic the bored expression of the child
8. detail of Mary Louisa Cushing Boit. Her husband was a well known watercolor painter but you might be better familiar with the famous portrait of her daughters that hangs in the Museum of Fine Arts “The Children of Edward Darley Boit.”
This portrait was considered vulgar because of the polka dot dress– yes, scandalous, I know. Notice the sitter’s double chin and teeth baring smile in the full view at right…oh, my. But you can see all this expression in her hands which aren’t even properly folded but fingers are a tangle of bohemian lust for life.
9. detail of American actor Joseph Jefferson portraying a character
11. detail of Madame Ramón Subercaseaux
Other stories you might like
- Do you want to learn watercolor techniques for painting portraits?
- A Mother’s Masterpiece
- What is the secret to a great portrait like the Mona Lisa?
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Hey, I’m Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.
My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I’m not working on art in my studio, you’ll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net I will be offering a mixed media class in the fall of 2015. →join the wait list