André Malraux, a polymath and a humanistic communist, supposed that no one ever paints a sunset by merely looking at a sunset; one always has an image of a sunset painted by someone else in his mind as he paints, though not necessarily in his conscious mind.
To support his point of view, Malraux traces the "archaic smile," characteristic of early Greek statues . . .
-[Incidentally, you might like to see what an early Greek statue looked like, appropriately colored:]
the archaic smile,he says, traveled East --
. . . and West --
an Etruscan villa\
Chartres Cathedral, now France
Rome at the hight of the Renaissance
The United States, today
. . . and has stayed right near home.
Turkish portrait, 2010
Even the rare recurve-billed bushbird is said to have an archaic smile.