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The Cover
January 16, 2013

Orange Sweater

JAMA. 2013;309(3):214. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.176133

Orange Sweater (cover), by the American painter Elmer Bischoff (1916-1991), doesn't have a hidden meaning or tell a story. Like many of his paintings, it was intended to evoke a feeling, a sensory memory. The setting is a quiet space with tall windows and soft lighting—probably a library at Yuba College in northern California where Bischoff was on the faculty in 1955. The focal point is a woman's glowing orange sweater. All the colors in the room play off this small orange trapezoid at the center of the painting's lower third. Another woman sits far in the back near a window. A sense of stillness is created by the spacing of the figures and the drowsy tones of forest green, taupe, and mother-of-pearl. One can almost imagine dust motes floating in the air.