"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Monday, January 25, 2016

Helena Rubinstein

This 1941 portrait of Helena Rubinstein by Roberto Montenegro hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"Helena Rubinstein triumphed in a male-dominated business world, working methodically toward her goals. She first made her reputation through the specialized treatments she offered to women at her exclusive salons, but she amassed her fortune in the 1920s by selling mass-produced cosmetics internationally. Her legendary career paved the way for other entrepreneurial women. Mexican artist Roberto Montenegro here captures her dynamic personality and dramatic flair. He depicts Rubinstein wearing a specially designed necklace made by William Spratling, who created a center for Mexican jewelry in Taxco during the 1930s. Rubinstein wrote in her autobiography, 'Although I no longer need the added courage that handsome jewelry once gave me (it was not easy being a hard-working woman in a man's world many years ago), I am aware that the wearing of exotic jewelry has become ... a mark of my identity.'" -- National Portrait Gallery

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