Portraiture Reflection — DM

The turban shown here is what drew me to this picture first. What appears to be some sort of stone that holds the turban tied seems to depict some sort of status; Westermann writes on how pictures that portray people are accurate to their status, thus I think it would be fair to assume that this man show here had some level of upper status. HIs gaze to the size seems to additionally reveal either almost an admiration for something or indifference. It would be interesting to understand the intent behind his stare more. Westermann also writes on how these pictures are drawn with the perspective that there is no audience, thus this feeling being evoked is to be assumed as natural. Another thing I noted was his facial hair, and how one could assume it was regularly groomed, as the sides seem to be shaved. I think this could indicate access to resources to keeps oneself groomed.

One last think I think is important is that there is no clear designation of where this takes places, thus placing emphasis on the man. Westermann lightly touches on this, along with the idea of no audience being present, but I think it’s important when an artist chooses when or when not to include a clear location/background.

Portret van een Abessiniër, Louis Bernard Coclers, after Gerard Dou, 1756 – 1817


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