Chapter

Women with Elbows

Harry Berger Jr.

in Manhood, Marriage, and Mischief

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225569
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240937 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823225569.003.0011
Women with Elbows

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The word pendant, whatever its actual etymology, suggests that the ideal relation between any pair of figures is achieved when each figure is shown to depend on and lean toward the other. Whether in public or private installations, pendants on display create behind and around themselves a mural area that represents the domestic setting in which the images first hung and their subjects lived. Many pendant pairs end up divorced, in different domiciles of display. Pendants generally, and generically, advertise two things: harmonious domestic life and comfortable social standing. The elbow is a famous bone of contention. Several languages celebrate both its defensive and its aggressive behavior. Sitters would not be satisfied if their poses were carbon copies of the pendants already in their neighbors' houses. Painters can add this motive to their own desire to surpass their peers and predecessors.

Keywords: pendant; mural area; domestic life; social standing; elbow; pose

Chapter.  5067 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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