Art: Opening the Envelope

Mark Twain once remarked that he especially enjoyed meeting in books men whom he had "already met on the river." Portrait painting, at its best, gives that kind of enjoyment also. The insights into character that it affords both confirm and expand the experience of people. Lately this enjoyment has been far to seek, since modern artists are more concerned with expressing their own personalities than exploring other people's. Yet a few brilliant portraitists remain—among them ebullient Boris Chaliapin. whose survey of people and places he has known opened at Manhattan's Hirschl & Adler Galleries last week.

Son of the great Russian...

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