Art: Skin-Deep

George Healy was a poor Boston boy who grew up to be one of the most polished and widely admired portraitists of the Victorian age. When he died in 1894 his fame died with him. Last week it was revived, temporarily, by an exhibition of 67 Healy portraits at Richmond's Virginia Museum.

On the walls hung eleven U.S. Presidents, from John Quincy Adams to Chester Alan Arthur, a squad of Civil War generals, a covey of society ladies and a coachload of kings, queens and courtiers. There was the bland map of Healy's greatest patron—King Louis-Philippe of France. There were Andrew Jackson's...

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