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

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Theodore Dreiser

This 1933 portrait of Theodore Dreiser hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"When the young journalist Theodore Dreiser published his first novel, Sister Carrie, in 1900, even his publisher was shocked, and the book was virtually banned. Nevertheless, this tale of compromised virtue within a harsh urban environment would ultimately be regarded as a watershed move toward greater frankness in American fiction. Dreiser continued to probe the unvarnished realities of urban life in such works from the 1910s as Jennie Gerhardt, The Titan, and The Genius. But it was not until the appearance of An American Tragedy in 1925 that Dreiser finally received serious attention as one of the most signifi­cant realists in American literary history. Nonetheless Dreiser, a lifelong advocate of freedom of expression, battled censorship his whole career. Henry Varnum Poor made this portrait at the time the contentious author had begun to get involved in the politics of radical protest." -- National Portrait Gallery

This portrait of Dreiser by Frank Harris appeared in Contemporary Portraits, 2nd Series, 1919.

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