My Best Side
“The Sisters,” from Cabinet & Talisman. Philadelphia: J. Laval & S.F. Bradford, 1829.
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This clever image of one sister tracing another’s profile while both are seated before a mirror, was painted by the American artist (and later inventor) Samuel F.B. Morse and engraved by his friend (and future president of the National Academy of Design) Asher B. Durand in 1829. The composition is full of investigations of light and reflection, shadows and brightness and proved to be a popular illustration in the annuals market. The plate was used and reused for 40 years, appearing in a gift book published in 1869.