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February 1975

Facial Hemiatrophy in Art

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 1975;111(2):263. doi:10.1001/archderm.1975.01630140121016

To the Editor.—  Chaim Soutine's "Portrait of a Boy" appears to show a good example of facial hemiatrophy. The painter was meticulous in his paintings so this diagnosis may hold even in the absence of any history of the subject.It is always interesting for the physicians, especially one without training in the history of art, to look at modern art and to read-in abnormalities. Facial disorders are of interest. Bell's Palsy is a favorite subject and has been redepicted before during many periods of art.1A current example of another type of facial deformity is seen in the picture by Chaim Soutine, "Portrait of a Boy," in the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The picture shows progressive facial hemiatrophy with a narrow palpable fissure and the shrinking of the cheek, with the consequent characteristic deformity (Figure).There is no history regarding this boy, but he is said