Lawrence Earle has just completed a portrait which
takes rank among his best work of recent years.
The sitter was Mrs. Van Sluyters, mother of Mrs.
Philo C. Fuller. The picture might appropriately be titled "Experience,"
"Fulfillment," or "Age." It is not only a portrait but in the expression and
embodiment of all that is strong and beautiful in age.
The portrait is a psychological study and the artist
has portrayed character and individuality - the ideal of age. Technically,
the picture is simple in its composition. The dress is unrelieved black
against a background of soft grays with occasional glints of green
suggesting the out of doors atmosphere. All the color and light are
concentrated on the head, which rests gently upon one hand, the fingers just
touching the cheek lightly in a restful, rather meditative attitude.
The white hair, parted simply, the soft lovely
texture of the skin, the strong deep lines in which character and experience
are plainly written, and the faded blue eyes, with their expression of
mystery, futurity and contemplation, give almost a mystic quality to the
Absence of All Adornment
The hands, with the long tapering fingers, and the
delicate wrists, are beautifully modeled. There is an entire absence of
adornment or ornamentation; but one feels a subtle sense of personality in
the very folds of the loosely fitting black dress. The high light is on the
white hair and there is a warm delicate color in the face. In the picture is
a strong sense of unity, harmony and appropriateness; but the compelling
charm of the portrait is the feeling of dignity and maturity of age. It is a
study, compared to which the mere prettiness of youth seems trivial and
In looking at the portrait one feels something of the
weariness of the long journey which reaches far back into the past and
between the two, the past and the future, the strong ripened character.
The portrait was painted from life and the artist has
treated the subject with deep insight and sympathy. Mr. Earle is especially
fond of painting old age and in his studio are many studies of old people,
each presenting a strong character study.
GRAND RAPIDS HERALD (or PRESS?), May, 1912 (Uncertain)