Emma Laskin started creating figurative and portrait art as a child, producing detailed fashion portraits of girls worldwide. Her love of painting developed in late high school. As an undergraduate at Harvard University, Laskin majored in Italian Renaissance Art History, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She also completed intensive coursework in Fine Arts as electives. After college, Laskin worked as the lead research assistant for Professor Howard Gardner, a neuropsychologist at Harvard's Graduate School of Education. Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences made a strong impact on Laskin who came to understand that she possesses a complex integration of visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal intelligence, not simply artistic and emotional "talents". Laskin then attended medical school at Cornell University Medical College and became a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. She often uses the emotional experiences of her patients to inform her portraits.
The submitted oil portrait is Laskin's visual conceptualizations of the Judeo-Christian Matriarchs--the powerful, yet flawed, heroines of Genesis. Sarah wife of Avraham and the first Matriarch is described as the fair-skinned proselytizer of God's word. Laskin depicts her in a blue veil to symbolize her serenity and her religious stature (akin to the often blue-clad Madonna in Renaissance art). Sarah looks heavenward to God and not at the viewer. Rebecca depicted wearing a fiery red veil, appears conniving as she plots to help her second-born son Jacob steal his older twin's birthright from their father Isaac. Rachel, Jacob's second wife, and true beloved is depicted as young, beautiful, and seemingly happy. She wears a green veil, however, to illustrate that she harbors envy of her elder sister Leah, Jacob's first wife, who bore him seven children while she, Rachel, remained barren for many years.