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  • ----- Meeting Notes (10/18/11 13:56) -----Portraiture Lecture NotesI. What is a Portrait?a. Definitionsi. --American Heritage Dictionary1. “A likeness of a person, especially one showing the face, that is created by a painter or photographer.”ii. --J.C. Lavater1. “What is the art of Portrait Painting? It is the representation of a real individual, or part of his body only; it is the reproduction of an image; it is the art of presenting, on the first glance of the eye, the form of a man by traits, which would be impossible to convey in words.”b. Assumptionsi. We assume that something is a portrait based on these three qualities.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.4. We also assume a person’s identity, character or persona is indicated by this “likeness.”II. The Power of Portraiturea. Assumptions: Portrait of George Washington.i. When we look at a portrait we usually look at it in terms of “who” rather than “what”?ii. Who is this? Rather than What is the subject of this portrait?iii. This shows how very linked a portrait is to our conception of the subject as a person.b. This can result into violent acts against images…i. Hungarian revolution of 1956.1. In their quest for liberation, the Hungarians broke statues of Soviet leaders like Stalin and Lenin.2. Look at how violent their reaction is.3. The image acts as a surrogate for the actual person.4. The image is so strongly linked to the person’s identity.ii. Head of Lenin, Estonia1. After communism fell more statues of Communist leaders were destroyed and left to rot2. Deposing the leaders of the past and their ideas and power by destroying their images.iii. The Dismantlement of a Statue of Sadam Hussein, April 9, 2005.1. A more recent example during the Iraq war.2. A group of Iraqis and American soldiers take down a statue of Sadam Hussein.3. Again physically removing a person, their identity and their memory by removing their image.III. Real or Ideal?a. We are very wrapped up in this idea of a portrait as an accurate depiction of a specific human being.b. Roman portraiture is often seen as the epitome of realistic depictions.i. Roman republican portraiture is said to be an example of verism—or the quality that makes a statue “true to life.”1. We do have some death masks which seem to allude to the real characteristics of a person.2. This is contrary to the Greek habit of idealizing the human subject as a young man.ii. While this statue does appear to be very individualistic, there is really no way of knowing how much this statue adheres to the visage of a real person.1. If we look at a “portrait” as a mere record of how someone looks, we miss key aspects of what determines the form a work of art takes.2. Both the artist and the subject bear no responsibility for how a portrait works.3. The subject just is the way it is and the artist merely copies it.iii. Actually, Roman Republican sculpture also shows the viewer ideals of this culture.1. The ideal Roman Republican man is a public servant, one who dedicates his life to the service of the republic.2. A man’s dedication was shown through:a. The lines on his face (years given)b. The unkempt hair (focus on service rather than his looks).c. Haggard appearance (worry or concern for his duties)3. A man’s wisdom was also important.a. Age, old enough to really have gained knowledgeb. Age, old enough to have the experience to test that knowledge.4. If we just assumed that this was a mere likeness of a human being, we wouldn’t talk about these ideals or how the came to be manifested in the work of art.a. It simplifies the nature of identity and all of its complexities.b. It ignores the importance of the context, viewer, artist and patron in determining the meaning of a portrait.c. The final product of a portrait relies on a series of “Decisions”i. Face1. Overviewa. Shows age. (whether is real or not)b. Shows mood. (how is the subject feeling)c. Shows looks. (how beautiful/handsome)d. Shows character (how moral/immoral)2. Examples:a. Patriciani. Presented as aged to show the ideals of the republic.b. Augustusi. Presented young to show the ideals of the new empire.ii. Augustus was presented as a youth throughout his entire life—he lived into his 70s.iii. Youth conveys a sense of permanence and immortality of his deeds and the empire.3. Questions:a. Is the subject smiling, frowning, etc.?b. Does the subject meet the viewer’s gaze? Is the gaze intense?c. How old is the subject portrayed? Is the age the actual age of the subject?d. Is the subject considered attractive? How does the subject agree or disagree with contemporary concepts of beauty?ii. Pose1. Overview:a. Relaxed/Formalb. Active/Stationaryc. Permanent/Dynamicd. Example:i. Portrait of Louis XIV1. Standing in a position of power.2. Slightly turned.3. Gazing at the viewer4. Hands resting on his hips and cane.5. Stance is arrogant and powerful.6. Shows his absolute power as a French monarch.ii. Portrait of Louis-Francois Bertin1. Informal2. Seated3. Hand resting on his knees4. Head turned directly to the viewer.5. Informal pose conveys a sense of openness, approachability6. Gaze and pose imply a frankness and an energy/vitality.7. Bertin was the owner of a successful newspaper that he built from scratch.8. Perhaps conveys a sense of him as a self-made man.iii. 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?iii. Grooming/Clothing1. Overview:a. Statusb. Wealthc. Professiond. Identity2. Examplesa. Albrecht Durer as Christi. Long plain hair (unadorned)ii. Humble, dull clothing.iii. Bare handsiv. Emphasizes the characterization as Christ through his humble attire.v. Characterization as Christ as emphasizes the role of the artist as a divine geniusb. Albrecht Durer as Artisti. Hair styled under fancy capii. Clothing is wealthy clean and well worniii. He wears pristine white glovesiv. This shows his status as an artist of success and means, who can afford to live well on his art.3. Questionsa. How is the subject dressed?b. How does the subject groom his/herself? Facial hair? Hair style?c. How does the subject’s attire communicate his/her social status? Wealth?d. Does the subject’s attire communicate a particular persona or identity?e. How does the grooming of the subject contribute to their perceived character?iv. Setting1. Overviewa. Intimate/Publicb. Stable/Unstablec. Known/Unknown2. Examplesa. Portrait of Marie Antoinette as Motheri. She is in a very private and intimate space with her childrenii. A parlor or living room perhapsiii. A calculated attempt to garner approval as a good motheriv. While she was perhaps not the worst mother, she was definitely less attentive that a lot of parents.b. Portrait of Marie Antoinette as a Peasant in Gauli. While the background is obscured, she holds a flower suggesting an outdoor settingii. Marie Antoinette like to retire to a country retreat to “play peasant,” meaning she dressed simply and acted the way she thought a peasant would act.c. Example: Edgar Degas, Place de la Concorde, Paris, 1873-1874.i. Subjects: Vicomte Lepic and his daughters Janine and Eylau.ii. Setting: wide open space on a pedestrian promenade.iii. Not intimate or close like the sitters’ home.iv. Space between subjects and their disparate gazes enhance a sense of emotional and physical alienation among the subjects.v. Not sentimental like other portraits with parents and children.vi. Captures the momentary rather than the permanent.IV. Agencya. When thinking about agency, we have to ask “Who makes these decisions?” The sitter? The artist? Someone else?b. Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I of Englandi. Queen Elizabeth had a set type of portrait that showed her as a young and good-looking woman throughout her life.ii. In Queen Elizabeth’s day, few people reached adulthood without having smallpox, which left Elizabeth covered in pockmarks and was slightly disfigured.iii. Her portraits reflect her desire to remain young, vibrant and inspiring in the eyes of her people.iv. This portrait is actually one that was posthumous, but it reflects the type of portrait she made all artists adhere to.1. Underpainting: 1604, immediately after her death2. Painted over in the 18th century.c. What is agencyi. Remember that artworks are the result of a negotiation between artists and viewers in a set context.ii. Portraiture is no different.iii. In determining how decisions were made in regard to the depiction of a subject and the meaning of those decisions we must ask who is in charge.iv. Agency is the means of exerting power or influence1. The person acting as the primary agent has the power to determine how a subject looks, whether it is the subject, artist, or a third party patron.2. Each portrait is a negotiation between these parties.3. We must ask: Who has the agency and how are they using it?d. Subject as Agenti. Queen Elizabeth1. She exercised her agency to present herself in a certain way.2. She acted as the primary agent.ii. Raphael, Baldassare Castiglione, 1510.1. Subject: Baldassare Castiglione, Conti di Navonaa. Poetb. Courtierc. Scholari. Wrote one of the best known etiquette books of the day called The Courtier, which sought to define the perfect “Renaissance Man.”1. “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 whosoever beholdeth him.”2. “Our Courtier ought not to profess to be a glutton nor drunkard, notorious or inordinate in any ill condition, nor filthy and unclean in his living.”3. The ideal courtier also was well versed in science, rational, skilled at arms and diplomacy, loyal, discreet, graceful, courteous, and ingenious.d. Ambassador2. Portraita. Using the subtle plays of shadow and light, Raphael enhanced Castiglione’s grace and bearing.b. Pyramidal composition enhances the sense of stability the portrait exudes.c. His turned body and front facing position conveys the combined ideals of honesty and aloofness (polite distance).d. Castiglione exudes the impression of inner grace as well as an earthly stability, which is at heart the ideal Renaissance Man.e. Artist as Agenti. Example: August Rodin, Head of Baudelaire, 1892.1. For the most part, Rodin’s portraits were solely based on a life studies.2. In his “portrait” of the 19th century intellectual Baudelaire, he did not actually study Baudelaire in person. He had been dead for 30 years by the time Rodin began this sculpture.a. Looked at photosb. Looked at a young artist that “resembled” Baudelaire.c. “It is not Baudelaire…but it is a head that resembles Baudelaire. There are a series of characteristics that…preserve the cerebral conformation and that core calls the type; this bust is of a draftsman named Malteste who shows all the characteristics of the Baudelairean mask. See the enormous forehead, swollen at the temples, dented, tormented, handsome, nevertheless…the eyes have the look of disdain; the mouth is sarcastic, bitter in its sinuous line, but the swelling of the muscles, a little fat, announces the voluptuous appetites. In short, it is Baudelaire.”d. Rodin is representing Baudelaire as he sees and understands him and not necessarily as he really is.e. Identity becomes flexible, saying more about the artist than the subject.ii. Example: Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson, Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Belley, 1797.1. Subject: Jean-Baptiste Belleya. Who: He born in Senegal and was the leader of a revolt against the French in Santo Domingo.i. He became a statesman in Paris of some notoriety and status.2. Portraita. He is depicted as a well-dressed man b. He is leaning up against a bust of Guillame-Thomas-Francois-Raynal, who was a famous anti-colonialist intellectual who spoke out against slavery and the mistreatment of blacks.i. Raynal is presented as a Roman republican bust1. With all of the virtues this style implies.c. Belley is posed like the Capitoline Satyr.i. This would have been a famous works of art that the people of Paris would be familiar with.ii. A satyr is an seen as a wild, subhuman creature that is known for violent behavior and raping nymphs.iii. Implies that while Belley is well-dressed like a gentleman, his is nothing more than a wild beast beneath his clothes.iv. He may be able to mimic the clothing of an intellectual, but he is not truly an intellectual.iii. Self Portraits1. Self-Portraits were a sign of ultimate control of both the artist and the subject.2. Example: Artemesia Gentileschia. Who: as a woman, Gentileschi gained some notoriety as a painter. While she was not allowed to join a guild or a workshop officially, she did work for her father, who was a painter and her teacher.b. This self-portrait shows her as a painter and a very good one at that.i. She is not merely posing with a brush, but is actively painting with broad almost aggressive strokes.ii. She has an almost masculine vibrant/vitality.iii. The angle is a challenging one showing her virtuosity as a painter.3. Example: Cindy Shermana. Sometimes artists use the self portrait to explore their own identity and identity in general.b. Feminist artist, Cindy Sherman used art history and popular culture as a way of exploring identity.4. Example Do-Ho Suha. Suh used his image to explore the collective identity of a single person.b. He stacked the yearbook pictures of his classmates on top of one another, placing his on top to explore collective identity.V. Portraits without facesa. While by far the most important aspect of traditional portraiture is the human face, artists have worked to evoke a sense of identity without portraying the subject’s face.b. Example: John Frederick Peto, Reminiscences of 1865, c. 1900.i. Uses the trompe loeil technique to depict a still life of different images of Abraham Lincoln1. Portrait2. Birth and Death Dates3. Five Dollar Bank Note4. Etc.ii. The real subject of this portrait, however, is his father.1. Died in 1895.2. Uses Lincoln as a surrogate because the actual image of his father is too painful3. Connects the image of his father with the image of Lincoln, a beloved president that stood for honesty and justice to the American people.c. Example: Do-Ho Suh, My 39 Yearsi. Instead of using images of himself, this self-portrait chronicles the artist’s life through the different uniforms he has worn. 1. School to Military2. Each uniform commemorates and explores a single moment in his life and the different identities he has embodied.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (10/18/11 13:56) -----Portraiture Lecture NotesI. What is a Portrait?a. Definitionsi. --American Heritage Dictionary1. “A likeness of a person, especially one showing the face, that is created by a painter or photographer.”ii. --J.C. Lavater1. “What is the art of Portrait Painting? It is the representation of a real individual, or part of his body only; it is the reproduction of an image; it is the art of presenting, on the first glance of the eye, the form of a man by traits, which would be impossible to convey in words.”b. Assumptionsi. We assume that something is a portrait based on these three qualities.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.4. We also assume a person’s identity, character or persona is indicated by this “likeness.”II. The Power of Portraiturea. Assumptions: Portrait of George Washington.i. When we look at a portrait we usually look at it in terms of “who” rather than “what”?ii. Who is this? Rather than What is the subject of this portrait?iii. This shows how very linked a portrait is to our conception of the subject as a person.b. This can result into violent acts against images…i. Hungarian revolution of 1956.1. In their quest for liberation, the Hungarians broke statues of Soviet leaders like Stalin and Lenin.2. Look at how violent their reaction is.3. The image acts as a surrogate for the actual person.4. The image is so strongly linked to the person’s identity.ii. Head of Lenin, Estonia1. After communism fell more statues of Communist leaders were destroyed and left to rot2. Deposing the leaders of the past and their ideas and power by destroying their images.iii. The Dismantlement of a Statue of Sadam Hussein, April 9, 2005.1. A more recent example during the Iraq war.2. A group of Iraqis and American soldiers take down a statue of Sadam Hussein.3. Again physically removing a person, their identity and their memory by removing their image.III. Real or Ideal?a. We are very wrapped up in this idea of a portrait as an accurate depiction of a specific human being.b. Roman portraiture is often seen as the epitome of realistic depictions.i. Roman republican portraiture is said to be an example of verism—or the quality that makes a statue “true to life.”1. We do have some death masks which seem to allude to the real characteristics of a person.2. This is contrary to the Greek habit of idealizing the human subject as a young man.ii. While this statue does appear to be very individualistic, there is really no way of knowing how much this statue adheres to the visage of a real person.1. If we look at a “portrait” as a mere record of how someone looks, we miss key aspects of what determines the form a work of art takes.2. Both the artist and the subject bear no responsibility for how a portrait works.3. The subject just is the way it is and the artist merely copies it.iii. Actually, Roman Republican sculpture also shows the viewer ideals of this culture.1. The ideal Roman Republican man is a public servant, one who dedicates his life to the service of the republic.2. A man’s dedication was shown through:a. The lines on his face (years given)b. The unkempt hair (focus on service rather than his looks).c. Haggard appearance (worry or concern for his duties)3. A man’s wisdom was also important.a. Age, old enough to really have gained knowledgeb. Age, old enough to have the experience to test that knowledge.4. If we just assumed that this was a mere likeness of a human being, we wouldn’t talk about these ideals or how the came to be manifested in the work of art.a. It simplifies the nature of identity and all of its complexities.b. It ignores the importance of the context, viewer, artist and patron in determining the meaning of a portrait.c. The final product of a portrait relies on a series of “Decisions”i. Face1. Overviewa. Shows age. (whether is real or not)b. Shows mood. (how is the subject feeling)c. Shows looks. (how beautiful/handsome)d. Shows character (how moral/immoral)2. Examples:a. Patriciani. Presented as aged to show the ideals of the republic.b. Augustusi. Presented young to show the ideals of the new empire.ii. Augustus was presented as a youth throughout his entire life—he lived into his 70s.iii. Youth conveys a sense of permanence and immortality of his deeds and the empire.3. Questions:a. Is the subject smiling, frowning, etc.?b. Does the subject meet the viewer’s gaze? Is the gaze intense?c. How old is the subject portrayed? Is the age the actual age of the subject?d. Is the subject considered attractive? How does the subject agree or disagree with contemporary concepts of beauty?ii. Pose1. Overview:a. Relaxed/Formalb. Active/Stationaryc. Permanent/Dynamicd. Example:i. Portrait of Louis XIV1. Standing in a position of power.2. Slightly turned.3. Gazing at the viewer4. Hands resting on his hips and cane.5. Stance is arrogant and powerful.6. Shows his absolute power as a French monarch.ii. Portrait of Louis-Francois Bertin1. Informal2. Seated3. Hand resting on his knees4. Head turned directly to the viewer.5. Informal pose conveys a sense of openness, approachability6. Gaze and pose imply a frankness and an energy/vitality.7. Bertin was the owner of a successful newspaper that he built from scratch.8. Perhaps conveys a sense of him as a self-made man.iii. 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?iii. Grooming/Clothing1. Overview:a. Statusb. Wealthc. Professiond. Identity2. Examplesa. Albrecht Durer as Christi. Long plain hair (unadorned)ii. Humble, dull clothing.iii. Bare handsiv. Emphasizes the characterization as Christ through his humble attire.v. Characterization as Christ as emphasizes the role of the artist as a divine geniusb. Albrecht Durer as Artisti. Hair styled under fancy capii. Clothing is wealthy clean and well worniii. He wears pristine white glovesiv. This shows his status as an artist of success and means, who can afford to live well on his art.3. Questionsa. How is the subject dressed?b. How does the subject groom his/herself? Facial hair? Hair style?c. How does the subject’s attire communicate his/her social status? Wealth?d. Does the subject’s attire communicate a particular persona or identity?e. How does the grooming of the subject contribute to their perceived character?iv. Setting1. Overviewa. Intimate/Publicb. Stable/Unstablec. Known/Unknown2. Examplesa. Portrait of Marie Antoinette as Motheri. She is in a very private and intimate space with her childrenii. A parlor or living room perhapsiii. A calculated attempt to garner approval as a good motheriv. While she was perhaps not the worst mother, she was definitely less attentive that a lot of parents.b. Portrait of Marie Antoinette as a Peasant in Gauli. While the background is obscured, she holds a flower suggesting an outdoor settingii. Marie Antoinette like to retire to a country retreat to “play peasant,” meaning she dressed simply and acted the way she thought a peasant would act.c. Example: Edgar Degas, Place de la Concorde, Paris, 1873-1874.i. Subjects: Vicomte Lepic and his daughters Janine and Eylau.ii. Setting: wide open space on a pedestrian promenade.iii. Not intimate or close like the sitters’ home.iv. Space between subjects and their disparate gazes enhance a sense of emotional and physical alienation among the subjects.v. Not sentimental like other portraits with parents and children.vi. Captures the momentary rather than the permanent.IV. Agencya. When thinking about agency, we have to ask “Who makes these decisions?” The sitter? The artist? Someone else?b. Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I of Englandi. Queen Elizabeth had a set type of portrait that showed her as a young and good-looking woman throughout her life.ii. In Queen Elizabeth’s day, few people reached adulthood without having smallpox, which left Elizabeth covered in pockmarks and was slightly disfigured.iii. Her portraits reflect her desire to remain young, vibrant and inspiring in the eyes of her people.iv. This portrait is actually one that was posthumous, but it reflects the type of portrait she made all artists adhere to.1. Underpainting: 1604, immediately after her death2. Painted over in the 18th century.c. What is agencyi. Remember that artworks are the result of a negotiation between artists and viewers in a set context.ii. Portraiture is no different.iii. In determining how decisions were made in regard to the depiction of a subject and the meaning of those decisions we must ask who is in charge.iv. Agency is the means of exerting power or influence1. The person acting as the primary agent has the power to determine how a subject looks, whether it is the subject, artist, or a third party patron.2. Each portrait is a negotiation between these parties.3. We must ask: Who has the agency and how are they using it?d. Subject as Agenti. Queen Elizabeth1. She exercised her agency to present herself in a certain way.2. She acted as the primary agent.ii. Raphael, Baldassare Castiglione, 1510.1. Subject: Baldassare Castiglione, Conti di Navonaa. Poetb. Courtierc. Scholari. Wrote one of the best known etiquette books of the day called The Courtier, which sought to define the perfect “Renaissance Man.”1. “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 whosoever beholdeth him.”2. “Our Courtier ought not to profess to be a glutton nor drunkard, notorious or inordinate in any ill condition, nor filthy and unclean in his living.”3. The ideal courtier also was well versed in science, rational, skilled at arms and diplomacy, loyal, discreet, graceful, courteous, and ingenious.d. Ambassador2. Portraita. Using the subtle plays of shadow and light, Raphael enhanced Castiglione’s grace and bearing.b. Pyramidal composition enhances the sense of stability the portrait exudes.c. His turned body and front facing position conveys the combined ideals of honesty and aloofness (polite distance).d. Castiglione exudes the impression of inner grace as well as an earthly stability, which is at heart the ideal Renaissance Man.e. Artist as Agenti. Example: August Rodin, Head of Baudelaire, 1892.1. For the most part, Rodin’s portraits were solely based on a life studies.2. In his “portrait” of the 19th century intellectual Baudelaire, he did not actually study Baudelaire in person. He had been dead for 30 years by the time Rodin began this sculpture.a. Looked at photosb. Looked at a young artist that “resembled” Baudelaire.c. “It is not Baudelaire…but it is a head that resembles Baudelaire. There are a series of characteristics that…preserve the cerebral conformation and that core calls the type; this bust is of a draftsman named Malteste who shows all the characteristics of the Baudelairean mask. See the enormous forehead, swollen at the temples, dented, tormented, handsome, nevertheless…the eyes have the look of disdain; the mouth is sarcastic, bitter in its sinuous line, but the swelling of the muscles, a little fat, announces the voluptuous appetites. In short, it is Baudelaire.”d. Rodin is representing Baudelaire as he sees and understands him and not necessarily as he really is.e. Identity becomes flexible, saying more about the artist than the subject.ii. Example: Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson, Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Belley, 1797.1. Subject: Jean-Baptiste Belleya. Who: He born in Senegal and was the leader of a revolt against the French in Santo Domingo.i. He became a statesman in Paris of some notoriety and status.2. Portraita. He is depicted as a well-dressed man b. He is leaning up against a bust of Guillame-Thomas-Francois-Raynal, who was a famous anti-colonialist intellectual who spoke out against slavery and the mistreatment of blacks.i. Raynal is presented as a Roman republican bust1. With all of the virtues this style implies.c. Belley is posed like the Capitoline Satyr.i. This would have been a famous works of art that the people of Paris would be familiar with.ii. A satyr is an seen as a wild, subhuman creature that is known for violent behavior and raping nymphs.iii. Implies that while Belley is well-dressed like a gentleman, his is nothing more than a wild beast beneath his clothes.iv. He may be able to mimic the clothing of an intellectual, but he is not truly an intellectual.iii. Self Portraits1. Self-Portraits were a sign of ultimate control of both the artist and the subject.2. Example: Artemesia Gentileschia. Who: as a woman, Gentileschi gained some notoriety as a painter. While she was not allowed to join a guild or a workshop officially, she did work for her father, who was a painter and her teacher.b. This self-portrait shows her as a painter and a very good one at that.i. She is not merely posing with a brush, but is actively painting with broad almost aggressive strokes.ii. She has an almost masculine vibrant/vitality.iii. The angle is a challenging one showing her virtuosity as a painter.3. Example: Cindy Shermana. Sometimes artists use the self portrait to explore their own identity and identity in general.b. Feminist artist, Cindy Sherman used art history and popular culture as a way of exploring identity.4. Example Do-Ho Suha. Suh used his image to explore the collective identity of a single person.b. He stacked the yearbook pictures of his classmates on top of one another, placing his on top to explore collective identity.V. Portraits without facesa. While by far the most important aspect of traditional portraiture is the human face, artists have worked to evoke a sense of identity without portraying the subject’s face.b. Example: John Frederick Peto, Reminiscences of 1865, c. 1900.i. Uses the trompe loeil technique to depict a still life of different images of Abraham Lincoln1. Portrait2. Birth and Death Dates3. Five Dollar Bank Note4. Etc.ii. The real subject of this portrait, however, is his father.1. Died in 1895.2. Uses Lincoln as a surrogate because the actual image of his father is too painful3. Connects the image of his father with the image of Lincoln, a beloved president that stood for honesty and justice to the American people.c. Example: Do-Ho Suh, My 39 Yearsi. Instead of using images of himself, this self-portrait chronicles the artist’s life through the different uniforms he has worn. 1. School to Military2. Each uniform commemorates and explores a single moment in his life and the different identities he has embodied.
  • The portrait of Elizabeth that can be seen at first glance was virtually all painted in the eighteenth century. However, recent technical analysis has revealed that this image was painted over the top of an early seventeenth-century portrait. Dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) indicates that the wood used for the panel was felled some time after 1604, just after the queen's death. Therefore the original portrait was posthumous, based on a pattern developed during Elizabeth's lifetime.
  • Portraiture upload

    1. 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. 2. What is a Portrait?“A likeness of a person, especially one showing theface, that is created by a painter or photographer.”--American Heritage Dictionary“What 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. 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. 4. The Power of the PortraitThe Destruction of a Monument to Joseph Stalin, Budapest, Hungary,October 23, 1956.
    5. 5. The Power of the PortraitToppled Statue of Vladimir Lenin, Talllinn, Estonia, destroyed c. 1986-1991.
    6. 6. The Power of the PortraitThe Dismantlement of a Statue of Sadam Hussein, FirdosSquare, Bagdad, Iraq, April 9th, 2005.
    7. 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. 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. 9. From “Awkward Family Photos”
    10. 10. From “Awkward Family Photos”
    11. 11. From “Awkward Family Photos”
    12. 12. Key “Decisions”1. 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. 13. 1. FaceHead of Roman Patrician, Augustus PrimaportaMarble, c. 75-50 BCE. (Detail), 1st century CE.
    14. 14. 1. Face: Questions1. Is the subject smiling, frowning, etc.?2. Does the subject meet the viewer’s 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. 15. 2. PoseHyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres,Louis XIV, 1701. Louis-Francois Bertin, 1832.
    16. 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. 17. 3. Grooming/ClothingAlbrecht Durer, Self-Portrait at 28 Albrecht Durer, Self-Portrait at 26, 1498.(as Christ), 1500.
    18. 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 subject’s attire communicate his/her social status? Wealth?4. Does the subject’s attire communicate a particular persona or identity?5. How does the grooming of the subject contribute to their perceived character?
    19. 19. 4. SettingElizabeth-Louise Vigee-Le Brun, Marie Elizabeth-Louise Vigee-Le Brun,Antoinette and Her Children, 1786. Marie Antoinette in Gaul, 1780.
    20. 20. 4. SettingEdgar Degas, Place de la Concorde (Portrait of Vicomte Lepic andhis Daughters), 1873-1874.
    21. 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. 22. AgencySee Video Below
    23. 23. Unknown Artist, Posthumous Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I,1604 (under painting), 18th century (later additions).
    24. 24. Agency Artist Art Viewer Context*Agency is the a means of exerting power or influence.
    25. 25. Agency Artist Art Viewer Context*A portrait can be seen as a negotiation between the agencies of the artist and the sitter.
    26. 26. Agency Artist Art Viewer Context*Ask yourself: who has the most agency, the subject or the artist?
    27. 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 whosoever beholdeth him…Our Courtier ought not to profess to be a glutton nor drunkard, notorious or inordinate in any ill condition, nor filthy and unclean in his living.”Raphael, Baldassare Castiglione, 1510. Castiglione, from The Courtier, c. 1508.
    28. 28. Artist as Agent “It is not Baudelaire…but it is a head that resembles Baudelaire. There are a series of characteristics that…preserve the cerebral conformation and that core calls the type; this bust is of a draftsman named Malteste who shows all the characteristics of the Baudelairean mask. See the enormous forehead, swollen at the temples, dented, tormented, handsome, nevertheless…the eyes have the look of disdain; the mouth is sarcastic, bitter in its sinuous line, but the swelling of the muscles, a little fat, announces the voluptuous appetites. In short, it is Baudelaire.”Auguste Rodin, Head of Baudelaire, 1892. Rodin, On the Portrait, c. 1892.
    29. 29. Artist as AgentGuillame-Thomas-Francois Raynal Jean-Baptiste-Belley Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson, Portrait of Head of Roman Patrician, 75-50 Jean-Baptiste Belley, 1797. BCE.
    30. 30. Artist as Agent Jean-Baptiste-BelleyAnne-Louis Girodet-Trioson, Portrait of Capitoline Satyr, Roman Copy ofJean-Baptiste Belley, 1797. Greek Original, c. 1st century CE
    31. 31. Self-PortraitArtemisia Gentileschi, Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting,1638-1639.
    32. 32. Exploration of IdentityCindy Sherman, Untitled (as Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still, 1978.Caravaggio’s Bacchus), 1989.
    33. 33. Cindy Sherman, Untitled (as Caravaggio, Sick Bacchus (Self-Portrait),Caravaggio’s Bacchus), 1989. 1592-93.
    34. 34. Do-Ho Suh, High School Uni-Face: Boy, 1997.
    35. 35. Portraits without Faces Trompe L’Oeil = Trick the EyeJohn Frederick Peto, Reminiscences of 1865, c. 1900.
    36. 36. Do-Ho Suh, Uni-Forms/s: Self-Portrait/s: My 39 Years, 2006.
    37. 37. Interrogating the Portrait1. Do we know the name of the person the portrait represents? What do we know about the subject? How does that change your understanding of the portrait?2. How does the portrait reflect the “likeness” of the subject? How are you determining likeness?3. What “decisions” are being made in the execution of the portrait? How do those decisions create a specific identity for the subject?4. Who is making those decisions? The subject? The artist? A combination of the two?

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