13 January 2012

Friday Inspiration: The Renaissance Portrait

Portrait of A Young Man, Biago d'Antonio, (ca. 1470)

Last week I took a quick trip to New York City for a change of scenery and some badly needed inspiration. In my wanderings I found myself at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the exhibition called The Renaissance Portrait from Dontatello to Bellini

Portrait of a Young Woman (Ginerva de'Benci?), Lorenzo di Credi  (ca. 1575-80)

I was absolutely enthralled by the work. The Renaissance saw the birth of the individual as an idea and these works are some of the earliest examples of artists concentrating on depicting recognizable likenesses. The subjects of these portraits were real people-- and I found myself looking at the paintings, not necessarily as works of art, but as a document of a person. They were living and breathing centuries ago, and somehow their likeness survived into this new millennium. It was quietly humbling. And exquisitely beautiful.

Portrait of a Young Man with a Ring, Francesco del Cossa, (ca. 1472-74)

I have always been fascinated by portraiture and I realized that I draw from portraits in museums quite frequently in my sketchbooks.

Some sketches from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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