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  • 1. Identity and the PortraitReading Key Monuments:Albert Elsen, The Portrait in The Destruction of aPainting, Sculpture, and Monument to Joseph Stalin,Photography from The Purposes Budapest, Hungary, Octoberof Art, 319-338. 23, 1956. Head of Roman Patrician,Key Terms/Concepts: realism, Marble, c. 75-50 BCE.verism, idealism, agency, identity, Unknown Artist, Posthumousself-portrait. Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, 1604 (under painting), 18th century (later additions). Do-Ho Suh, Uni-Forms/s: Self- Portrait/s: My 39 Years, 2006. Auguste Rodin, Head of Baudelaire, 1892.
  • 2. What is a Portrait?A likeness of a person, especially one showing theface, that is created by a painter or photographer.--American Heritage DictionaryWhat is the art of Portrait Painting? It is therepresentation of a real individual, or part of hisbody only; it is the reproduction of an image; it isthe art of presenting, on the first glance of the eye,the form of a man by traits, which would beimpossible to convey in words.--J.C. Lavater
  • 3. What is a Portrait?1. A portrait must depict a specific human subject.2. A portrait must resemble the human subject.3. The viewer must be able to recognize the subject of a portrait as a specific person.We assume that something is a portrait basedon these three qualities.
  • 4. The Power of the PortraitThe Destruction of a Monument to Joseph Stalin, Budapest, Hungary,October 23, 1956.
  • 5. The Power of the PortraitToppled Statue of Vladimir Lenin, Talllinn, Estonia, destroyed c. 1986-1991.
  • 6. The Power of the PortraitThe Dismantlement of a Statue of Sadam Hussein, FirdosSquare, Bagdad, Iraq, April 9th, 2005.
  • 7. Real or Ideal? *Verism is the idea that Roman portraits were true to life.Head of Roman Patrician, Marble, c. 75-50 BCE.
  • 8. Real or Ideal? *Assuming likeness is always an uncertain and sometimes dangerous position to take.Head of Roman Patrician, Marble, c. 75-50 BCE.
  • 9. From Awkward Family Photos
  • 10. From Awkward Family Photos
  • 11. From Awkward Family Photos
  • 12. Key Decisions1. Face: age, beauty, expression, mood, character, etc.2. Pose: relaxed, formal, active, stationary permanent, dynamic, etc.3. Grooming/Clothing: status, wealth, profession, identity, etc.4. Setting: intimate, public, stable, unstable, unknown.
  • 13. 1. FaceHead of Roman Patrician, Augustus PrimaportaMarble, c. 75-50 BCE. (Detail), 1st century CE.
  • 14. 1. Face: Questions1. Is the subject smiling, frowning, etc.?2. Does the subject meet the viewers gaze? Is the gaze intense?3. How old is the subject portrayed? Is the age the actual age of the subject?4. Is the subject considered attractive? How does the subject agree or disagree with contemporary concepts of beauty?
  • 15. 2. PoseHyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres,Louis XIV, 1701. Louis-Francois Bertin, 1832.
  • 16. 2. Pose: Questions1. Is the subject standing? Sitting?2. Is the portrait a bust? Full body?3. What is the subject doing with his/her hands?4. Is the position of the body frontal? Oblique?5. Is the pose formal? Informal?6. How does the pose convey the mood of the subject?
  • 17. 3. Grooming/ClothingAlbrecht Durer, Self-Portrait at 28 Albrecht Durer, Self-Portrait at 26, 1498.(as Christ), 1500.
  • 18. 3. Grooming/Costume: Questions1. How is the subject dressed?2. How does the subject groom his/herself? Facial hair? Hair style?3. How does the subjects attire communicate his/her social status? Wealth?4. Does the subjects attire communicate a particular persona or identity?5. How does the grooming of the subject contribute to their perceived character?
  • 19. 4. SettingElizabeth-Louise Vigee-Le Brun, Marie Elizabeth-Louise Vigee-Le Brun,Antoinette and Her Children, 1786. Marie Antoinette in Gaul, 1780.
  • 20. 4. SettingEdgar Degas, Place de la Concorde (Portrait of Vicomte Lepic andhis Daughters), 1873-1874.
  • 21. 4. Setting: Questions1. Is there a visible setting in this portrait? If there is a setting, what is it?2. Is it an outdoor setting? Indoor?3. Does the setting have a special relationship with the subject?4. How does the setting relate to the entire portrait?5. How is the space used? Little space? A lot of space?
  • 22. AgencySee Video Below
  • 23. Unknown Artist, Posthumous Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I,1604 (under painting), 18th century (later additions).
  • 24. Agency Artist Art Viewer Context*Agency is the a means of exerting power or influence.
  • 25. Agency Artist Art Viewer Context*A portrait can be seen as a negotiation between the agencies of the artist and the sitter.
  • 26. Agency Artist Art Viewer Context*Ask yourself: who has the most agency, the subject or the artist?
  • 27. Subject as Agent Besides nobleness of birth, I would that he [the ideal courtier] have not only a wit, and a comely shape of person and countenance, but also a certain grace which shall make him at first sight acceptable and loving unto whosoev