Notes from powerpoint.


When we meet someone, the first thing we do is look at the face. The same applies when we look at paintings or photographs of people, in both portraits and narrative scenes. We often look for clues to mood and character which will help us identify the thoughts, feelings and experiences of those portrayed, hoping in some way, for further explanation of their situation.
The portrayal of people can not only tell us something about the sitters, their status and interests, but also the aims, influences and preoccupations of the artists who painted, sculpted or photographed them.
The Roman writer Pliny, tells us that portraiture originated in tracing lines around the human shadow, to record the features of a person who no longer stood in that place.
- Artists create portraits at different times for different reasons
- Some portraits are painted to record the likeness or appearance of a person. This means you can easily identify or recognise who the person is.
- Other artists create an interpretation of a person where physical appearance is disregarded in favour of a more expressive and emotional representation
- Artists may have been commissioned to paint portraits of people who were leaders or important figures in society. If a portrait has been commissioned the sitter may clearly indicate his/her requirements concerning the image produced eg. the costume, the pose, the setting. etc