top of page
Isabel Archer Portrait of a Lady.JPG

Isabel Archer: Portrait of a Lady

2014, oil on canvas, 36 x 48”

“Well,” said Henrietta, “you think you can lead a romantic life, that you can live by pleasing yourself and pleasing others. You’ll find you’re mistaken. Whatever life you lead you must put
your soul in it–to make any sort of success of it; and from the moment you do that it ceases to be romance, I assure you: it becomes grim reality! And you can’t always please yourself; you must sometimes please other people. That, I admit, you’re very ready to do; but there’s another thing that’s still more important–you must often displease others. You must always be ready for that–you must never shrink from it. That doesn’t suit you at all–you’re too fond of admiration, you like to be thought well of. You think we can escape disagreeable duties by taking romantic views–that’s your great illusion, my dear. But we can’t. You must be prepared on many occasions in life to please no one at all–not even yourself.”


—Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

bottom of page