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The Cover
December 26, 2001

The Holy Family With Saints Elizabeth and John the Baptist

JAMA. 2001;286(24):3051. doi:10.1001/jama.286.24.3051

Eugene Delacroix was one of his greatest admirers, yet in his private journal he described the pictures of his Flemish predecessor, Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), as being like "public meetings where everybody talks at once." It is an apt description; it applies not only to the paintings, but to the man, his studio, his entire career. Like his paintings, he often seemed larger than life. His appetites were enormous, his capacity for work seemingly unlimited, his output prodigious. His love for all things—family, country, goodness, beauty—was equally unlimited. One suspects he loved many things for no reason other than that they existed; whatever existed possessed beauty if only by the fact of that existence.

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