This sculpture was one of the last Soares dos Reis worked on. Its synthetism confers it a hieratic serenity. The distribution of chiaroscuro values is uniformly accomplished, creating an ambience pronounced by the transparency of the marble that likens the flesh, hair and draping, transforming the sculpture's materiality into sensation. The fact that Elisa Leech did not recognise herself and refused this portrayal demonstrates how Soares dos Reis had become removed from the naturalism of his previous works. The understanding of this piece as a portrait-symbol of a spirit or race hardly seems to be the most appropriate reading as this is a game and affirmation, an expression of sculpture that, through its dematerialisation and presentation as sensation, reveals its very own limits.


  • Title: Mistress Elisa Leech
  • Creator: António Soares dos Reis
  • Date Created: c. 1887
  • Physical Dimensions: 69 cm x 53 cm x 35 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Marble

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