Mary Cassat's portrait of a little girl depicts a very distinct pout. And yet the mouth has very little to do with it. The mouth is ambiguous—the lip line is wrong for a pout (it doesn't rise in the middle); the under-the-lip detail is more suggestive. What clinches the expression is the eye on the right and its brow. Looked at by itself, the eye and brow appear sad—the brow is upturned, the upper lid oblique. The other eye and brow are neutral (the brow is borderline); but in this case, one active side is enough.
How clearly the image of the elderly Rembrandt, weighed down (we suppose) by his domestic and financial difficulties, is embedded in our minds. This is one of the sadder of the late self-portraits; I find something terribly affecting .about the tired, sagging lines under his eyes. The movements and wrinkles of the brow of grief are painted with a knowing eye.
A. Shallow, diagonal crease due to corrugator.
B. Dimple at corrugator skin insertion.
C. Horizontal middle-brow folds.
D. Frown lines.
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