Dorothea Lange’s Angel of History

Rebecca Solnit at The Paris Review:

Lange, Dorothea

This woman seems to have been standing in the meadow forever, with it and of it, welcoming us all, an earthbound archangel of the topsoil. You could imagine that below her housedress her feet have taken root or her torso has become a tree trunk, and the way she smiles and reaches out that right hand seems like the most generous way to say that this place is hers.

Everything in the picture affirms a sense of stability. The square photograph is bisected horizontally by the straight line where the flowering meadow joins the bare hill on the right and the tree-covered hill on the left that rise up from either side of her like wings. That line is even with her bosom, and her outstretched hand seems almost to rest on it.

more here.