Portrait painter Ross Rossin has captured captains of industry and politicians, including President Jimmy Carter and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young. As part of his “American Royalty Collection” celebrating the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, Rossin painted Barbie in 2008 as another definitive American.

For Rossin, who lives in Sandy Springs, Barbie is a painterly emblem of “physical beauty and harmony and good proportions,” or what he calls the “ideal of the Divine.” But to this immigrant from Bulgaria, Barbie also represents independence, confidence, self-determination and a version of girlhood that the rest of the world doesn’t always celebrate.

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