Art: Raphael Soyer's Steadfast Gaze

At the Hirshhorn, an art that is embraced in lawful wedlock

He has produced almost as many self-portraits as Rembrandt, who painted himself 60 times. The first face of Raphael Soyer is dated 1917. The artist printed it on a sheet of cheap paper with engraving plates he heated on the gas burner in the family kitchen in The Bronx. Though coarsely crosshatched, its composition a tad askew, the engraving is a riveting reflection of the artist at 18, staring at the mirror with the same unswerving, enigmatic gaze that he would cast upon the...

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