Hans Schlereth (1897 – 1962) 28 Saturday May 2011 Posted by M.R.N. in SCHLERETH Hans ≈ 3 Comments TagsHans Schlereth, Harry Whinna Nice, Henry Billings Brown Lady In A Pink Gown Woman Seated Henry Billings Brown Young Mexican Girl Reclining Nude With Doll untitled Harry Whinna Nice Portrait Of A Woman Share this:TwitterFacebookPinterestTumblrEmailLike this:Like Loading... Related
I read someplace once that artists sometimes have difficulty painting certain parts of a human body, like having a mental/artistic block or something. For example, they can be fine with human faces but cannot paint human hands for the life of them.
That occurred to me when I saw the man’s hands in “Henry Billings Brown.” Bizarre! Yet, when I examined other pairs of hands painted by Mr. Schlereth in this collection, they appear quite normal. I wonder if Mr. Brown’s hands were actually that strange or whether the artist was trying to portray something about his subject. Such as hands suitable for “dipping into the cookie (money) jar”?
Suzay Lamb said:
You can see a different portrait (hands included!) of Henry Billings Brown here:
A less caricaturistic painting I dare say. They just have a flashy ring in common.
A far more flattering portrait, albeit at an apparently younger age, and with normal-looking hands! Being the subject of two different portraitists prompted a Wiki search that yielded this:
“Henry Billings Brown (March 2, 1836 – September 4, 1913) was an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from January 5, 1891 to May 28, 1906. He was the author of the opinion for the Court in Plessy v. Ferguson, a decision that upheld the legality of racial segregation in public transportation.”
Mr. Schlereth came along two or three generations after Mr. Ives, and Mr. Schlereth lived long enough to witness the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and early 1960’s. I wonder if that had anything to do with his characteristic portrayal of Justice Brown. Probably just my imagination, as usual, but fun to speculate about.