This series of Norman Rockwell paintings, compared with photographs used to created them, is pretty interesting. Wow though, I had a huge emotional reaction to this photo and painting:
I abhor that painting, particularly in comparison to the photo.
In the photo, the man is clearly obstinate and angry for unknown reasons, and the woman is concerned, appealing, and uncertain. We don’t know the story of their marriage, but it’s a stark image of marital strife.
In the painting, however, the man has a very black eye, but he looks more aloof than angry. The woman is looking at him in a sly and smug way. The painting seems to be winking at serious physical abuse.
If you think that it’s cute or funny, would you say the same if the sexes were reversed? I think not. The fact is that physical abuse in a marriage is abhorrent, whether perpetrated by a woman or a man. Nothing justifies it. Nothing.