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Portrait of Rainer Maria Rilke

(German poet, 1875-1926) What at once takes hold of the viewer is the mouth: large, sensitive, the lower lip swollen, brooding, unsettling as by some kept-in disgust, and has never known how to smile. Then the eyes: bulging from their dark sockets, the flesh around them puffed up, echoing the lower lip, weighed down with some inconsolable melancholy. The nose, finely cut; the forehead high, precipitous, concealing an intelligence at variance with human nature, trapped in flesh almost too weak or fragile to support it – the face summed up in a shameless, cloyingly sickly, self-justifying posture – an open wound screaming for attention.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022

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