Inside The Psychology Of Portraiture

“The painted portrait tried to give the answer before the advent of photography (though each medium provides a different answer), but it was always constrained by the demands of the times in which it was being painted. The painter was not necessarily trying to achieve an exact likeness – the face, for centuries, was the least important part of the portrait. What mattered was giving an impression of status – it was the clothes, the jewels, the background that spoke loudest. Nevertheless, there is still something to be learned from standing and staring.”