Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Portraits--More Art Historians Weigh In

Shalmit says:
"After our talk the other day, I recalled that Kathy Linduff gave us once in a seminar a similar task: it was a seminar about the 'other', and we were to talk about how we would like to be portrayed. this turned of course into a discussion about identity, and how people choose to show themselves to the world. It would probably be interesting to ask her of her impressions.

I remember that at that time I simply could not see myself being frozen in time for the sake of next generations. For some reason, any suggestion of 'posing' gives me such a strong feeling of crippling artificiality. For this reason, I guess I would have chosen Rembrandt for his strong psychological depth, and perhaps Lucian Freud for not trying to beautify his objects. A naked portrait of me by Freud (I guess that in his case I should not use the word nude), would probably drive away from my living-room all the boring guests..."

Rembrandt, Portrait of his wife Saskia

Lucian Freud, Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, 1995

Kristen says:
"Probably Zinaida Serebriakova because she does amazing treatments of the 'fuller' female body. Though Natan Altman's portrait of Anna Akhmatova is pretty amazing."
Zinaida Serebriakova, Self Portrait

Natan Altman, Anna Akhmatova, 1914

I didn't really have any Serebriakova portraits of women with fuller figures handy, but I think the Lucian Freud more than makes up for any excessive slenderness in the Serebriakova.

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Blogger Kristen said...

Well, gee, I sound so, um, profound compared with my colleagues. {rolling eyes}

December 02, 2008 8:58 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

Profundity isn't everything.

December 02, 2008 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few years ago I was at a party in San Francisco at a house that contains many unusual objects of art. One of them is a portrait by Freud of Prince Charles. The royal family commissioned this work. They should have known better. When it was presented they refused it. The scion of the Tudors appears bare chested, full face it in a not uncomplimentary rendition. His right hand is raised and his index finger points straight up. From it emerges a single bean sprout. On the wall opposite, of a large room, is the version of the Nightwatch the Dutch substituted for the original, hidden in a cave during the German occupation.

December 06, 2008 6:29 PM  

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