American artist, 1897-1983. Born near Chicago, he began painting at an early age, encouraged by his father, a portrait painter. Termed a 'magic realist' for attention to and distorted emphasis of ordinary portrait flaws, he devoted his career to a study of decay and the passage of time; most of his paintings depict old or aging men and women, emphasizing wrinkles and defects by using strongly contrasted lighting effects on a dull, matte background, with meticulous attention to detail. In his own words: "I just can't seem to paint nice things".

Perhaps his two most famous paintings are entitled 'Into the World There Came a Soul Named Ida' and 'That which I should have done I did not do', both currently in the Art Institute of Chicago. He was also the obvious choice for a commission to paint a much publicized portrait of Dorian Gray.

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