Theme Overview

Portraiture: Revealing Ourselves and Others

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Alfred Stieglitz, PhotographerBlind SculptorMartha Graham, Dancer

What can a portrait tell you about a person?

Artists have always been interested in capturing likenesses of themselves and other people. A successful, complex portrait reveals not only what the sitter looks like, but also aspects of his or her character, and even something about the attitudes of the artist. Looking at a portrait, we may ask ourselves what the artist has chosen to show (of him- or herself and of the sitter), and how those characteristics are indicated (through gestures and expressions, or perhaps through the choice of materials or artistic style).

Observing People Comic Book

Students select a subject, watch him or her, and try to identify how best to represent that person.
Artist(s): Imogen Cunningham