Unhappy Angels

Have you ever sat in a railway station and watched people killing time? Do they not sit a little like crestfallen angels—with their broken arches and their fallen stomachs?

—Henry Miller

Raphael Soyer is a shy little artist who would rather paint such crestfallen angels than anything else. His models, he says, are not professionals, but "mostly young girls who are interested in dancing or writing or philosophy. Usually they are not very happy."

On exhibition in a Manhattan gallery last week, Soyer's painted models showed their unhappiness by their slouching poses, and the drab color of their flesh and their surroundings. What made...

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