We're nearing the end here. Four more proposed Old Master precursors for the memorable Obama group portrait. Previous candidates here. Probably one more crop to come, then the exciting lessons of our brief look at art.
First, Governors of the Wine Merchants Guild, by Ferdinand Bol. I won't pretend that this was the Old Master I was thinking of, since I'd not aware of having seen it before. But still:
Next, a detail from Raphael's School of Athens, featuring the raised-finger gesture we see from Obama.
After the jump, two more with the raised-finger motif.
The Death of Socrates, by Jacques-Louis David.
And, for regional balance, a raised-finger Buddha, by Chang Sheng-wen.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
James Fallows is a staff writer for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. He and his wife, Deborah Fallows, are the authors of the 2018 book Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America, which was a national best seller and is the basis of a forthcoming HBO documentary.