Personality and Spirituality of Portraits Essay

Submitted By dionlintos
Words: 1766
Pages: 8

HOW DO ARTISTS CONVEY THE PERSONALITY AND SPIRIT OF A PERSON IN A PORTRAIT

What is the definition on personality and spirit?

The term portraits or self-portrait is an artist’s depiction, which is self- valued or from their own perspective of their style creating an artwork that displays subjective values that are usually personal. The personality can be seen visually from having a detailed observation of the artist’s choice of colour, the material that is worked on, the material used, and especially the style, whether is detailed or spontaneous, they are all deliberate choices made by the artist to present to the public (audience). The personality could also be based on the specific genre which the artist presents dominantly, through their body of work. The scale is also important, as it shows a different visual representation to the audience granting different reactions’

Spirituality- Here 'spirituality' is defined as "concerned with sacred or religious things; holy; divine; inspired; refined; sensitive; concerned with the soul or spirit, etc..., not with external reality" - in other words, something somehow apart from everyday life. It is an experience that occurs in the midst of, and gives depth and integrity to our lives as people who live in a particular culture, in a particular place and time. Spirits are also beliefs and an individual visual and mental depiction of something.

The artists Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo and Ben Quilty all play an important role in modern art challenging the traditions of art. All 3 artists are able to visually express their emotions and perspective on life onto a work of art. To convey personality and spirit of a person in an artwork, extensive use of symbolism are required. Symbolisms are the artist self-values that have a connection and importance to the message the artist are trying to convey. The line and brush work, as well as colour, scale, and composition all contribute in evoking emotion through a portrait

Vincent Van Gogh (March 30, 1854 – July 29 1890)

Expressionism originated in Germany at the turn of the twentieth century. The roots of expressionism can be traced back to two German painter groups, Die Bruecke and Der Blaue Reiter. Probably o¬ne of the most well-known painters that were a part of the expressionism movement was Vincent van Gogh. It has been said that during the last year and a half of his life during the expressionism movement he was under intense emotional turmoil and was not in his right frame of mind. A famous example of expressionism at its best is van Gogh's "The Starry Night". Many other painters of this time had somewhat similar emotional problems. For example, Norwegian Edvard Munch dealt with a variety of phobias and James Ensor, a Belgian, liked life best in complete isolation.

Blooming later o¬n in the century from the expressionism movement was abstract expressionism. This art movement was considered to be the Golden Age of American art. The use of brushstrokes and textures was used to convey the feeling of vivid emotions through the actual act of painting.

‘At Eternity’s Gate’, an 80cm x 64cm oil paint on canvas, was completed in 1890 during the month of May. The work of Vincent Van Gogh is always valuable for demonstrating symbols and spirituality. With the influence of the Bible, Van Gogh was insisting on becoming a preacher, to express his inner perceptions of life artistically. This particular painting is worth a thousand words, specifically, those words of Christ and of his saints. The composition and colour is quite unique as the idea contradict each other, with symbols for fire providing the ‘light of illumination’ and the ‘warmth of life’, in contrast to the miserable man suffering depression and mental problems, reinforced by the colours of blue. Emphasising the colour blue meaning the unhappiness presented in the work. The wood is the sign of Christ, for by the wood of the Cross, humanity…