Raphael Soyer

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Raphael Zalman Soyer (December 25, 1899 – November 4, 1987) was a Russian-born American painter. Soyer, referred to as an "American Scene" painter, was also an author who wrote his autobiography and a book on Thomas Eakins.


  • If art is to survive it must describe and express people, their lives and times.
    • As quoted in Barry N. Schwartz, The new humanism: art in a time of change, Praeger 1974, p. 179.
  • I've painted for a very long time, but I don't get tired or bored by it; I love to do it. If I don't paint one day, I don't feel well physically or mentally. My eyes bother me when I don't paint. But when I paint a full day, I feel satisfied and everything seems to be OK. I would never stop, never retire. I don't see how people can retire; I don't understand that. My brother Moses died while he was painting. He was actually working on a painting, and the last words he said were to the model: "Phoebe, don't frown." Then he died. He worked to the very last minute.
    • As quoted in Paper Lanterns (Quotations from The Sun) p. 59.

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