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The Cover
February 22, 2006

Portrait of the Artist

JAMA. 2006;295(8):864. doi:10.1001/jama.295.8.864

Images are the staple of the artist's profession, the artist's stock in trade, so to speak. And of all the images that might be chosen, the most dependable, in terms of cost, availability, and personal temperament, is his own or, as in the case of Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), her own. The only equipment necessary beyond palette and brush is a small mirror. Some artists took advantage of this inexhaustible resource more often than others: Rembrandt and van Gogh each left more than 40 self-portraits; Vigée Le Brun, who was Queen Antoinette's portraitist, left nearly two dozen; Cassatt, in sharp contrast, left only two, Portrait of the Artist (cover ), which is at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and an unfinished watercolor dated two years later, now part of the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

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