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John F. Kennedy #3

Artist
Elaine de Kooning, 12 Mar 1918 - 1 Feb 1989
Sitter
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 29 May 1917 - 22 Nov 1963
Date
1963
Type
Drawing
Medium
Charcoal on paper
Dimensions
Image: 43.2 × 35.6cm (17 × 14")
Mat: 55.9 × 40.6cm (22 × 16")
Frame: 58.7 × 43.5 × 3.5cm (23 1/8 × 17 1/8 × 1 3/8")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Maud Fried-Goodnight
Restrictions & Rights
© 1963, Elaine de Kooning Trust
Object number
NPG.2016.15
Exhibition Label
When Elaine de Kooning met with John F. Kennedy in 1962 and 1963, she made a number of small drawings of his features. Some of her images depict the president’s entire face, but others, like this one, focus primarily on his eyes. De Kooning recalled that many of her sketches combined her own observations with images that registered in her memory, partly because the president was always shifting and moving in front of her. She was particularly concerned with capturing his expressions and his eyes. She noted, “you never know where ‘likeness’ will reside,” adding, “It would be possible to portray the man by drawing or painting only his eyes, so that he would be recognized instantly.”
Durante sus sesiones con John F. Kennedy en 1962 y 1963, Elaine de Kooning realizó una serie de pequeños dibujos de sus facciones. Algunos muestran el rostro completo del presidente, pero otros, como este, se centran sobre todo en sus ojos. De Kooning comentó más tarde que muchos de sus bocetos combinaban sus propias observaciones con imágenes que tenía en la memoria, en parte porque el presidente siempre estaba moviéndose o cambiando de postura. Le interesaba en particular captar sus expresiones y sus ojos. Decía que “nunca se sabe dónde va a estar el detalle que te dé el ‘parecido’ exacto”, añadiendo que “se podría hacer un retrato de este hombre con solo dibujar o pintar los ojos, y sería reconocible al instante”.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection