Lucia, Milan 2016

A good portrait is just an accurate representation of the subject’s face. A great portrait is when the representation suggests what’s possible in the subject’s face. A great portrait hints at something transformative.

I don’t know Lucia. I know nothing at all about her, aside from the obvious (and rather unimportant) fact that she’s very pretty. But contained within this very somber, serious, sober portrait is something wonderful — that transformative thing I mentioned earlier.

A smile.

Or, rather, the potential of a smile. You can look at this portrait and with no effort at all, you can see what that smile would be like. A great portrait allows the viewer to see what isn’t there, but could be.

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