Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Constance P. Beaty © Constance P. Beaty (1)

On Friday 18 September 2020 the world lost one of the most remarkable women of these contemporary times: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature," Chief Justice John Roberts said. "We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice.2

The portrait above was done by Constance P. Beaty in about 2015-2016. In 2019 it was gifted to the Brooklyn Museum by Justice Ginsburg.

In preparation, Beaty took informal photographs of Ginsburg at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival, which she visits nearly every summer, as well as in a photo session in one of the court chambers. From those images, she made “obsessive” head studies, preparatory drawings, oil sketches, full-length composition sketches, and, ultimately, the final painting, which focuses solely on the judge’s face. The work’s large scale “allows the viewer to really look into those extraordinary, beautiful, determined eyes, and get a dose of the force of her character, which most people will never have the opportunity to experience in the flesh.”1

Preparatory sketches of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Courtesy of Constance Beaty. © Constance P. Beaty. (1)

The work’s large scale “allows the viewer to really look into those extraordinary, beautiful, determined eyes, and get a dose of the force of her character, which most people will never have the opportunity to experience in the flesh.”1

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be remembered for so much by so many especially as she managed to fight against discrimination without discrimination.

Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2015

R.I.P. R.B.G


Credit

  1. Caroline Goldstein, May 27, 2019. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Portraitist on Why Painting ‘This Country’s Tiny Powerhouse’ Is the Highest Honor for an Artist (news.artnet.com)
  2. npr.org