In one of his essays on painting, the Great Potemkin

had expressed the opinion that a face cannot adequately be

described in words, or even in sculpture, that it was

a province exclusively of the painters, that the recognition of

a face was wholly dependent upon the ineffably expressed variations

of light and color for which language had few words

and sculpture no shapes and that of the infinite variety

of angles and intersections that make a smile, language has

no inkling: not even no words, but not even numbers.

Only the great visual artists could describe a human face.


Paraphrases from the novel A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin.