Lorraine and Owen Voight,
How It Works
“Portrait of Lorraine and Owen Voight as Children,” marble, Vincenzo Miserendino, 1925.
Comparable bust portraits of children are found from the mid-fifteenth to the early twentieth century. In earlier periods, the expressions are reserved; the children appear calm and happy, but not overly emotional. In the late eighteenth century, the French portraitist Jean-Antoine Houdon looked back to classical themes and studied classical sculpture, but sculpted his own young daughter, Sabine Houdon, with a more fleeting, laughing expression. The Voight Children follows the same tradition, but also incorporates a bit of the concept of the unfinished. Although the bust portrait is finished work, the artist left the base intentionally rough. The idea of allowing a material, such a marble, to appear with its natural grain became accepted in the later nineteenth century.