the more you know the less you need

the more you know the less you need



We have a portrait of Martha, my mother-in-law, hanging in the foyer.
It was painted by Alan Collier in 1949.
Martha was 24.
She is now 94.
It was a gift to her from the artist, in appreciation for sitting for another painting—Martha in a trench coat—which won his admission to the Ontario Society of Artists. Sadly we don’t have, have never seen, and can’t even find any information on—this work. If you own it, let me know.

In this mobile digital era, where whipping out your phone to capture a photo is commonplace, a portrait seems almost otherworldly.

 A well-executed portrait usually requires numerous sittings: the average is four.
Everyone can press a button or tap their finger to take a photo, but not everyone can paint a picture. Of course, taking a good photo is also a talent.

A captivating portrait is one that evokes an emotion. Rather than capturing a fleeting moment, a portrait portrays something of the inner essence of the subject as seen from the artist’s point of view.

The aim of Art is to present not the outward appearance of things, but their inner significance; for this, not the external manner and detail, constitutes true reality.
~ Aristotle

Here are some iconic portraits:

Portrait of Gloria Vanderbilt’s mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, by Dana Pond,1923
Portrait of Gloria Vanderbilt by Aaron Shikler, 1982

Picture by Ike Edeani via The New York Times.


Portrait of Carolina Herrera by Andy Warhol, 1979

via El País


Portrait of Gloria Guinness by Alejo Vidal-Quadras, 1959

Stylized Portrait of Gloria Guinness by Jon Ray Fernandez, 2019

. #jonrayfernandezart


Portrait of  Diana Vreeland by William Acton, 1934

Photographed for Vanity Fair Magazine, July 21, 1979, New York. Photo: Jonathan Becker


Instagrammers and bloggers may have hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of pictures of themselves. But how many have a portrait?

It’s something pretty special.

2 thoughts on “Portraits”

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