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The Cover
January 13, 2010

Morning News

JAMA. 2010;303(2):110. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1852

At the turn of the 20th century, New York City was becoming a major metropolis. One of several American painters who watched the city change and grow was Francis Luis Mora (1874-1940), who was raised in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, about 30 miles south of Manhattan. Mora and his brother, Jo, spent much of their childhood creating art. Their father, who was a sculptor, provided paint, paper, charcoal, and encouragement, and the boys made hundreds of drawings and watercolors. At the age of 15, Mora enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, but came back to New York to study at the Art Students League three years later. The Spanish masters Velásquez, El Greco, and Goya and the French innovators Manet and Degas were Mora's strongest artistic influences, but like other American painters of the era (JAMA cover April 22/29, 2009), he found the subjects of many of his paintings on the streets of the American city. Mora was particularly drawn to public transportation. He rode subways, trolleys, and ferries, sketching the passengers in his pocket diary.