Sara Norton (1884). Edward Burne-Jones (English, 1833-1898). Oil on canvas. Historic New England.
Half-length portrait of Norton as a young woman in profile facing right, holding a violin. Norton was at the center of New England’s privileged class, the kind of Bostonian equally at home in drawing rooms on either side of the Atlantic. Burne-Jones painted this portrait for Sara’s father, Charles Eliot Norton, a Harvard humanities professor, editor of North American Review, founder of the Nation, and frequent contributor to the Atlantic Monthly.
Pablo Picasso - Portrait of Dora Maar  by Gandalf Via Flickr: A new woman came into Picasso’s life in 1936, a young Yugoslavian photographer, Dora Maar, whose real name was Dora Markovic. She was a friend of the poet Paul Eluard, frequented Surrealist circles, and spoke Spanish. In Portrait of Dora Maar, 1937, Dora Maar is represented majestically seated in an armchair, smiling and resting her head on a long-fingered hand. The face is shown in a combined frontal and profile view, with a red eye and a green eye facing in different directions. For many people, these deformations are the very hallmark of Picasso’s art. Yet, despite the distortions, or perhaps even because of them, Picasso achieved a striking resemblance that could be said to be ‘truer than life.’ The deformations primarily serve an expressive purpose: the idea is less to remake reality than to express its possibilities, to capture all the aspects of the sitter.
[Musée National Picasso, Paris - Oil on canvas, 36 ¼ x 25 9/16 inches]
A Girl Reading, probably Florence Carter Wood (later Mrs Alfred Munnings). Dame Laura Knight, R.A., R.W.S. (English, 1877-1970). Pencil and watercolour heightened with bodycolour and with scratching out on paper.
A young woman, in profile, is reading a letter in a sunlit landscape; she wears a white blouse and her auburn hair is pinned under a broad-brimmed straw hat, its red ribbon falling over her left shoulder. Spots of sunlight piercing through the weave of the hat fall on to her face.