Portraiture is a subject that can be mined in great depth. As a portrait provides us with objective information about its subject, it also affords us a window into societal attitudes and philosophies that shaped the world in which these people lived. In this lecture, we’ll trace the origins of Portraiture in the late medieval and early modern (Renaissance) periods and compare early Netherlandish portraits with those done in Italy at the same time. We’ll focus primarily on portraits done in the 15th and 16th centuries. Featured artists include Van Eyck, Van der Weyden, Memling, Antonello da Messina, Piero della Francesca, Giovanni Bellini, Titian, Giorgione, Raphael, Holbein, and Bronzino. Topics include the empirical portrait, the psychological portrait, the patron portrait, the idealized portrait, the power portrait, and various portrait types used to portray women in the Renaissance.
Looking at Ourselves: The Many Faces of Portraiture, Part II will be offered on July 10.