By Freeland, Cynthia A
In Portraits and Persons, one among our prime philosophers of paintings illuminates the attention-grabbing and basic questions posed by way of this enduring paintings shape. Cynthia Freeland's dialogue is remarkably free-wheeling. for instance, in contemplating the straightforward query of even if you can still have a portrait of an animal, she levels from Descartes and Darwin to William Wegman's "May Ray" and David Hockney's dachshunds, and he or she sheds mild on such concerns as even if animals own soul, brain, or individuality of personality. certainly, during the ebook, Freeland addresses a complete host of attention-grabbing philosophical difficulties posed by means of the paintings of portraiture. How precisely have artists in the course of the a long time controlled to depict the internal nation of the topic being portrayed? Is it in truth attainable for an artist to trap a persons person "air," their special air of secrecy? and the way has technological know-how been used to aid during this quest? that includes greater than fifty halftones, this can be an exciting philosophical exploration of portraiture that highlights its very important contribution to the advanced evolving discourse approximately human nature
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Extra resources for Portraits and persons : a philosophical inquiry
The photographer Jill Greenberg, an artist especially well known for her glamorous celebrity images, conﬁrms this point in commenting about a project she undertook called Monkey Portraits. She found it difﬁcult working with monkeys as portrait subjects in one way, since they could not communicate easily and got bored and distracted. However, in another way the process was much easier, because they had none of her usual clients’ worries about ‘looking beautiful’ for the camera. If some response is brought by an animal to the portrait encounter and thus revealed in the resulting picture, it will 18 ANIMALS Fig.
I hold that both the artist and subject of a portrait must participate knowingly in its creation, so that the resulting image can manifest their differing desires and attitudes about it. For the subject, portraiture involves an act of posing or of self-representation. When people have their portraits made, they are aware of the process and typically have a desired outcome. This varies with age and mental condition, obviously; but the awareness of being photographed seems to develop quite early in young children.
Snyders’ role in the history of dog painting is tremendous. He anticipated 34 ANIMALS the nineteenth-century habit of investing animals with human characteristics . . 36 Another example of an animal who appears to be depicted with human characteristics is Goya’s sad dog in the altogether bleak painting Dog Buried in the Sand. Picking up the tradition, artists in France and England also began to portray individual dogs, typically at the bequest of wealthy patrons who wanted their pets or favorite hunters immortalized.