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Arthur Rubinstein

Boris Chaliapin, 1904 - May 1979
Arthur Rubinstein, 28 Jan 1887 - 20 Dec 1982
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 53.7 x 41 x 2.5cm (21 1/8 x 16 1/8 x 1")
Frame: 62.2 x 49.5 x 5.7cm (24 1/2 x 19 1/2 x 2 1/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine; Frame conserved with funds from the Smithsonian Women's Committee
Restrictions & Rights
© Chris Murphy
Object number
Exhibition Label
For its February 25, 1966, cover story on world-renowned pianist Arthur Rubinstein, Time editors assigned a small team, one of whom followed Rubinstein around for "just over three weeks" as he performed a series of concerts from Toronto, Canada, to Columbia, South Carolina. "The process," reported Time, "was not unlike covering a war or an election or an ecumenical council. . . . Most Time stories are handled with such intensity." Boris Chaliapin was part of that team effort, only his contribution was extraordinary because he routinely worked mostly from photographs to produce his art. Not so with Rubinstein, whose finished portrait was based on life sittings. Time published a photograph of one of these sittings, showing the prolific artist, brush in hand, and the accomplished musician seated nearby. Topics of discussion between the two invariably included Chaliapin’s famous father, the great Russian operatic basso Feodor Chaliapin, with whom Rubinstein had been friends many years prior.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection