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Examining Portraits

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.

card-ginevra

Leonardo da Vinci
1452–1520
Italian
Download PDF (11MB)

card-marquise-de-rouge

Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun and Jacques-Louis David
1755–1851 (Vigée Le Brun); 1748–1825 (David)
French
Download PDF (8MB)

card-van-gogh-self-portrait

Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin
1853–1890 (Van Gogh); 1848–1903 (Gauguin)
Dutch (van Gogh); French (Gauguin)
Download PDF (14MB)

card-fanny-fingerpainting

Chuck Close
born 1940
American
Download PDF (7MB)

Paperback editions of An Eye for Art are available for purchase.

Overview

Download PDFs:

Edgar Degas (8MB)

Alexander Calder (6MB)

Dan Flavin (3MB)

Martin Puryear (6MB)