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I entirely agree with James Hall’s opinion of the portraits awarded this year. There is a sad lack of emotion or character in the depictions which distances one.

Just add pictures

Portrait of Christian in Profile, by Marco Ventura Portrait of Christian in Profile, by Marco Ventura (Italy)

I am not a regular visitor to this annual award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and it  is a few years since I last attended. Arriving at the exhibition earlier this week it was immediately obvious that something had changed. It turned out that the change had been a new approach to soliciting entries which allow the first round of selection to be done using digital images. The result was to greatly increase the number of overseas entries as the entrants only needed to deal with the mechanics of shipping their art to the UK if they had passed the first cut. The result is a significant increase in the number of overseas entries selected for exhibition with Spain, Italy and North America particularly well represented.

The impact of the change has been a marked improvement in the technical quality…

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Originally posted on The Squirrel Review.

Self-Portrait with Two Circles by Rembrandt (1659-1660)

If the aim of self-portraiture is defined as the production of a painting displaying  perfect likeness to one’s physical self, Rembrandt van Rijn was a master of this medium for much of his artistic life. However, when one defines the aim of a self-portrait more subtly, that of providing an honest window into the deep and personal character of an artist, Rembrandt only began to succeed towards the end of his life. This truth is exemplified in what many consider to be one of the artists greatest masterpieces, Self-Portrait with Two Circles.

In his earlier self-portraits, Rembrandt depicts himself as handsome, successful, and fashionable – indeed, far more like a gentleman than an artist. From his clothing to his posture, the artist reflected upon the glamorous…

via Self-Portrait with Two Circles by Rembrandt (1659-1660) | The Squirrel Review.

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