The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
With her free spirit, flowing Grecian-style tunics, and signature scarf,
the American modern dancer Isadora Duncan captivated audiences on both sides
of the Atlantic for nearly a quarter of a century, from her debut in France
in 1903 until her tragic and untimely death in 1927. So perfectly realized
were the fluid, seamless movements of this bare-footed, bare-legged dancer
that she seemed to be the personification of motion itself. Not surprisingly,
many of those she attracted were in the field of the visual arts; one of the
most devoted was the Russian-born American painter Abraham Walkowitz (1880-1965).
For 40 years, from the time he first met her in 1906, until his eyesight failed
to the point where he could no longer paint, he tried to translate the poetry
of her motion and energy to the poetry of color and form. Even when her actual
likeness is not the subject of the painting, one senses her presence. It hovers
over his work like a spirit over waters.
Southgate MT. Bathers on the Rocks. JAMA. 2004;291(11):1298. doi:10.1001/jama.291.11.1298