Some of Margaret Keane's popular prints from 1962 include "Alone," "Come to Japan" and "On the Threshold." Keane's work is notable for the way she paints her subjects with large, mournful eyes.Continue Reading
Margaret Keane's 1962 prints feature her trademark "big-eye" style of painting. She often painted women and children with large, sad-looking eyes. These works became famous in the 1950s and 60s, even though many art critics considered them inferior kitsch. The portrait "Alone" features a sad-looking child hugging her knees and sitting on a steep flight of steps. The child looks appealingly and directly at the viewer; overhead, a round moon hangs mostly in shadow.
In "Come to Japan," the subject is a Japanese child. She is dressed in a traditional kimono and carries a paper umbrella. Her face is placid; she, too, looks directly at the viewer with Keane's signature large eyes. In "On the Threshold," the subject is not a child, but a young woman. Her eyes are also large in proportion to her head, but they are not whimsical and appealing like the children's eyes. Instead, this woman looks exhausted and depressed. Her simple white dress and sad expression hint that she might be on the threshold of death or some tragic moment in her life.
Margaret Keane is also famous because her ex-husband Walter took credit for her work for many years. It was not until the 1980s that Margaret proved to the courts that she was the true artist behind the valuable and famous "big-eye" paintings. The judge in the case challenged the couple to paint in front of him; Margaret succeeded and has since received credit for her work.Learn more about Painting