Monday, 4 March 2019

Best Ten Great Portraits You Should See

Ten Great Portraits and Where to See Them

The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals


 Nobody really knows who this man was ,he was not a cavalier but a wealthy, fashionable man aged about 26 living in the Netherlands in 1624.The love symbols on his sleeve of hearts and flaming torches suggest this may have been a betrothal portrait.

You can see this portrait at The Wallace Collection , London UK

 Girl With A Pearl Earring by Vermeer

 This much loved portrait is a character painting with the girl possibly a servant ,dressed in various props owned by Vermeer.A recent novel and film with the same title as the painting suggest that the expensive earrings were borrowed Vermeer's wife,she was not pleased.

              This painting may be seen at Mauritshuis ,The Hague, Holland


 Self Portrait by Rembrandt


As a young artist Rembrandt was short of models so he painted himself looking much like a modern pop star with a mop of hair.The subtle tones show early promise of his ability to use a narrow range of colours to create atmosphere and light.

This painting may be seen at The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam,Holland. 





Keith (from Gimme Shelter) by Elizabeth Peyton 




This painted portrait of Keith Richards was taken from a clip from the film  Gimme Shelter . Many contemporary portrait painters use photographs to capture their subjects.

This painting may be seen at Soloman R Guggenheim Museum New York U.S.A.



American Gothic by Grant Wood



This strangely buttoned up pair were staged by Grant Wood using his sister Nan and his dentist  Dr B.H.McKeeby as models.Various interpretations have been made about this iconic work.Suggestions that it was a satire of the Midwest and its conservative values were rejected by the artist.


This painting may be seen at  The Art Institute of Chicago ,IL,USA 


  Three Studies of The Head of A Young Negro by J.A.Watteau



The French artist Jean-Antione Watteau was a prolific portrait painter.He made many drawings of his subjects before putting them into larger scenes and groups off people.These preliminary drawings often had great charm like the studies of this boy.


Many of the drawings may be viewed at



 Woman With A Coffee Pot  by Paul Cezanne


Cezanne was known as a slow and painstaking worker who would fly into a rage if the slightest thing upset him.The solid figure of this country woman is sitting in a room adorned with paintings on the walls suggesting that she is a servant in a wealthy household.The cylinder filter coffee pot and woman's blue cotton dress are typically French.

This painting may be seen at Musee d'Orsay, Paris



Self Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh 


Painted before madness completely took over this is Van Gogh in the sunny south of France.The application of brush strokes of pure colour which typify his style can be seen here especially in the straw hat.





 Churchill by Graham Sutherland



This portrait of Winston Churchill was commissioned  as a gift to Churchill.For a while it hung in the family home at Chartwell .Churchill absolutely loathed it and his wife, Clemmie was convinced that it was making him depressed.She threw it onto a bonfire in the garden and it was completely destroyed.

There is nowhere you can see this work apart from photographs like this.



No comments:

Post a Comment