Art: The Sparrow

The most fashionable portraitist now active is René Bouché (rhymes with touché). He may also be the best. Last week at Manhattan's Alexander Iolas Gallery, Bouché had on view a brilliant display of what his flickering, sweet-and-sour brush can do. Recent subjects: Truman Capote, Isak Dinesen, Anita Loos, Elsa Maxwell, Mrs. William Paley, the Duchess of Windsor, Lady Astor, the Duchess of Argyll and Alexander Calder.

A knowing sparrow of a man, Bouché often asks the glamorous and important to pose for his thin-stained canvases, gives them a drawing for their pains. Bouché's technical equipment, like that of John Singer Sargent and...

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