The fact of human faces — well, that’s another thing. I cherish that portrait of me that uncle Basil painted, because it is honest. It is a more honest mirror than my own silvered glass, for it observes what I could not see in myself: I do not see myself intent upon observation. How do I look when I am not looking at myself? Only another can tell me that, and Basil did me that honor.
It is worth more to me than the most elegant society portrait. That would immure my true face behind the mask of the Lady. She’s a type, that Lady, as much as the medieval Queen of Heaven, and no less mythological than Aphrodite.
POV Leonie Hallward, niece of the painter Basil Hallward from Oscar Wilde’s Portrait of Dorian Gray. From novel-in-progress, Leonie Hallward and the Secession of Greenwich Village.
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