Existing comment: George Luks
The Cabby, 1921

Bundled in a heavy black coat, his ruddy face exposed beneath a dark hat, a driver registers the arduous cold that accompanied his work during a long winter night. Although he appears captured in motion -- with mouth agape and whip raised -- the composition was almost certainly produced during a posed studio visit. Indebted to the influence of Robert Henri, the palette of black and chestnut is typical of Luks's portraits from this period. Henri encouraged his students and colleagues to paint quickly and vigorously, taking as their subjects a wide variety of people from different ethnic and social backgrounds. Luks's deep affinity for the laborers and socially marginalized characters of New York City resulted in their frequent appearance in his unnamed portraits.
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