Painting of a portrait
Painting of a portrait – looking through a square
A painting of a portrait is typically a depiction of a person, capturing their physical appearance and sometimes their personality traits. This form of art has played a significant role for centuries, often commissioned by wealthy individuals, particularly rulers, kings, emperors, and princes. Being immortalised in a portrait was a symbol of prestige and served as a means of advertising and promoting the ruler, akin to propaganda. However, many portraits throughout art history are not just mere representations of individuals but also convey deeper universal truths about the people of that era or humanity as a whole. Creating a portrait required immense skill and expertise in the craft.
With the advent of photography, the purpose of painted portraits shifted. They were no longer solely relied upon as documentary evidence. Nevertheless, there is still a demand for portraiture, and many people continue to commission and receive portraits. The accessibility of both portraits and art, in general, has increased. However, the process of creating portraits has undergone changes. Few individuals have the luxury of spending hours posing in an artist’s studio, and artists themselves often rely on photographs as references. They create portraits for clients and determine whether the clients are satisfied with the final result.
In addition to traditional portraiture, there is a growing trend of contractual portraits. These portraits depict unfamiliar individuals, with the face in the painting serving as a metaphor or generalisation. Through these portraits, artists aim to express something about themselves, using the face as a mask. Contemporary art allows for more freedom in the treatment of facial anatomy, disregarding conventional norms. One can draw inspiration from the master artist, Picasso, whose portraits of women symbolise modernity in art.
Painting of a portrait titled “Looking through a Square” portrays a woman gazing intensely straight ahead, framed within the regular shape of a square. This geometric figure serves as a window, enabling her to peer into the distance, yet simultaneously confining her within its boundaries. The painting delves into the concept of dual vision, exploring the intricate interplay between freedom and limitation.
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