"eva tanguay is the perfect american artist. she is alone. she is the unknown goddess. she is ineffably, infinitely, sublime; she is starry chaste in her colossal corruption. in europe men obtain excitement through venus, and prevent venus from freezing by invoking bacchus and ceres, as the poet bids. but in america sex-excitement has been analyzed; we recognize it to be merely a particular case of a general proposition, and we proceed to find our pleasure in the wreck of the nervous system as a whole, instead of a mere section of it. the daily rush of new york resembles the effect of cocaine; it is a universal stimulation, resulting in a premature general collapse; and eva tanguay is the perfect artistic expression of this. she is manhattan, most loved, most hated, of all cities, whose soul is a delirium beyond time and space. wine? brandy? absinthe? bah! such mother-milk is for the babes of effete europe; we know better. drunkenness is a silly partial exaltation, feeble device of most empirical psychology; it cannot compare with the adult, the transcendental delights of pure madness."
tanguay died on 1/11/47 in hollywood, the same city as barrymore, who died in 1959.
portrait of jennie also features the film debut of nancy reagan in a two-line role as an admirer of the portrait.
it's not a masterpiece, but it is quite good.