Henry Gee

Getting the Look

Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions


Princeton University Press 327pp £27.95 order from our bookshop

Cast your mind back to 1910. That was when the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuși met Hungarian art student Margit Pogany in Paris. Years later Brâncuși carved her portrait in marble from memory. He refined Pogany’s features down to their simplest form – hardly more than arching brows and a long, straight nose – until it could have been a portrait of anybody. (Danaïde, one of the bronzes based on this sculpture, is in the collection of Tate Modern.) Brâncuși invited Pogany to his studio to view the finished work. She recognised it as herself at once.

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