The Art of Portraiture II

I have a number of other portraits in my collection, a few of we will visit in this chapter. I do not know the identity of the two gentlemen pictured or the artists that painted them while there appears a signature and date on the third portrait from the artist.

The first portrait is of an unknown gentleman. Painted in the 19th century. The image measures 6″ x 6 1/2″ . Finely painted in watercolour with the focus on the face. This is quite typical of the style of portrait painting at that time. The accuracy leans toward vagueness as one goes further away from the face. This allows the artist to finish his work quickly while still presenting the subject with their desired object – a beautiful image of themselves. We go to a somewhat more delicate portrait. This miniature is 2 1/4 x 2 3/4 in an oval frame. It is, I believe, painted on ivory. You can see through the damage to the paint work the underlying white ivory it is painted on. I think possibly an 18th century work. The execution is superb. Once again the face being the focal point and having an almost three dimensional feel to it. Luckily the damage has not reached the face so this man’s visage is still wonderful to look at. Once again the gentleman is not known nor is the artist. We finish with a large portrait done in 1908. It sits again in an oval matte. The image is 14″ by 17″. This of course is a copy of a painting by Rembrandt – his portrait of Aechie Claesdr done in 1634. This copy is painted by Lilian Harries in 1908. It is fairly true too the original but it lacks precision and accuracy bis t still manages to convey that Lilian had some talent as an artist. I have found no information about her.

Three very different types of portraits from different times, all which are meant to do the same thing – portray the sitter in their best image.

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