A true portrait should, today and a hundred years from today, the Testimony of how this person looked and what kind of human being he was.
The best portraits are those in which there is a slight mixture of caricature.
The journalists have constructed for themselves a little wooden chapel, which they also call the Temple of Fame, in which they put up and take down portraits all day long and make such a hammering you can't hear yourself speak.
I never can pass by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York without thinking of it not as a gallery of living portraits but as a cemetery of tax-deductible wealth.
A man cannot speak but he judges himself.
With his will or against his will he draws his portrait to the eye of his companions by every word. Every opinion reacts on him who utters it. It is a threadball thrown at a mark, but the other end remains on the thrower
We demand that people should be true to the pictures we have of them, no matter how repulsive those pictures may be: we prefer the true portrait in all its homogeneity, to one with a detail added which refuses to fit in.
It is not merely the likeness which is precious.
.. but the association and the sense of nearness involved in the thing... the fact of the very shadow of the person lying there fixed forever! It is the very sanctification of portraits I think -- and it is not at all monstrous in me to say that I would rather have such a memorial of one I dearly loved, than the noblest Artist's work ever produced.
Any one who knows what the worth of family affection is among the lower classes, and who has seen the array of little portraits stuck over a laborer's fireplace will perhaps feel with me that in counteracting the tendencies, social and industrial, which every day are sapping the healthier family affections, the sixpenny photograph is doing more for the poor than all the philanthropists in the world.
It seems to be a law of nature that no man, unless he has some obvious physical deformity, ever is loth to sit for his portrait.
Mr. Lely, I desire you would use all your skill to paint my picture truly like me, and not flatter me at all; but remark all these roughnesses, pimples, warts, and everything as you see me, otherwise I will never pay a farthing for it.
Sir Joshua would have been glad to take her portrait;
and he would have had an easier task than the historian at least in this, that he would not have had to represent the truth of change --only to give stability to one beautiful moment.
The explanation of the propensity of the English people to portrait painting is to be found in their relish for a Fact. Let a man do the grandest things, fight the greatest battles, or be distinguished by the most brilliant personal heroism, yet the English people would prefer his portrait to a painting of the great deed. The likeness they can judge of; his existence is a Fact. But the truth of the picture of his deeds they cannot judge of, for they have no imagination.
I had rather see the portrait of a dog that I know, than all the allegorical paintings they can show me in the world.
When you start with a portrait and search for a pure form, a clear volume, through successive eliminations, you arrive inevitably at the egg. Likewise, starting with the egg and following the same process in reverse, one finishes with the portrait.
He reproduced himself with so much humble objectivity, with the unquestioning, matter of fact interest of a dog who sees himself in a mirror and thinks: there's another dog.
I hate to paint portraits! I hope never to paint another portrait in my life.
Portraiture may be all right for a man in his youth, but after forty I believe that manual dexterity deserts one, and, besides, the color-sense is less acute. Youth can better stand the exactions of a personal kind that are inseparable from portraiture. I have had enough of it.
Most of our modern portrait painters are doomed to absolute oblivion.
They never paint what they see. They paint what the public sees, and the public never sees anything.
I see the President almost every day.
I see very plainly Abraham Lincoln's dark brown face with its deep-cut lines, the eyes always to me with a deep latent sadness in the expression. None of the artists or pictures has caught the deep, though subtle and indirect expression of this man's face. There is something else there. One of the great portrait painters of two or three centuries ago is needed.