Source: Revised GRE PDF 2nd Ed. Section 4; #24 (p. 72)


In the context of the passage as

A portrait type that appeared with relentless frequency in eighteenth-century England is the familiar image of a gentleman poised with one hand inside his partially unbuttoned waistcoat. Standard interpretations of this portrait posture offer observations of correspondence—demonstrating either that it mirrors actual social behavior or that it borrows from classical statuary. Such explanations, however, illuminate neither the source of this curious convention nor the reason for its popularity. It is true that in real life the “hand-in” was a common stance for elite men. Still, there were other ways of comporting the body that did not become winning portrait formulas. And even if the “hand-in” portrait does resemble certain classical statues, what accounts for the adoption of this particular pose? In the context of the passage as a whole, the primary function of the sentence in lines 10-2 (It is . . . men) is to emphasize the influence of a particular social class on the conventions of eighteenth-century English portraiture, account for the origin of a particular type of behavior frequently represented in eighteenth-century English portraiture, acknowledge a historical basis for two competing hypotheses about a particular portrait type, question the relevance of certain evidence frequently cited in support of an explanation for a particular portrait type, concede that one explanation for the prevalence of a particular portrait type has a basis in fact

1 Explanation


Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Sep 22, 2012 • Comment

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