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May 5, 1989

Edge of Smile or Brink of Guffaw? Clergyman/Linebacker Contemplates Draft of 1516

Author Affiliations

Union Memorial Hospital Baltimore, Md

Union Memorial Hospital Baltimore, Md

JAMA. 1989;261(17):2504. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420170046027

To the Editor. —  In the article on Albrecht Dürer's "Portrait of a Clergyman" in the December 2 issue of JAMA, Dr Southgate describes the unknown cleric as being on "the edge of a smile." He surely would cross that edge, perhaps even to the brink of a guffaw, if he could read that his visage suggested "contemplation rather than action" and that "his small shoulders that slope in a gentle physique suggest a life more devoted to study than to deeds of physical prowess."To the contrary, this gentleman has the feral gaze and jaw of an outside linebacker set on a neck of impressive dimension. His shoulders, anything but small, are thick and sloping, like those found among premier athletes; under his cloak one can detect the bulge of a well-muscled chest.I suspect that if indeed this clergyman is contemplative, he probably is contemplating the joy of