Portraits can describe a person’s physical likeness, status, personality, and/or interests. This chapter presents the range of ways artists represent people.
Discover a rare double-sided portrait by Leonardo da Vinci. Rich and powerful aristocrats and royalty had their portraits painted by the French artist Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, and the emperor Napoleon posed for Jacques-Louis David. Introspective and enigmatic, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin painted self-portraits that express their personal styles, while Chuck Close creates large-scale portraits with surprising and innovative techniques.
As you examine the works in this chapter, consider what portraits reveal about the sitter and what they tell us about the artist.