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Home >> Painting by Themes >> Oil Portrait Paintings

Oil Portrait Paintings

Oil Portrait Paintings are on of the most interesting pieces of art of our times. The aristic intent in these paintings, is to show the appearance of the person and capture some charcteristical trait of that very persom which makes him or her a distinct human being. Great masters have managed to make celebrities out of nameless, unknown people (Da Vinciís Mona Lisa) or have bared their soul in their self portraits (Van Gogh). A Good Oil Portraiture is like a well written biography, itís a journey to a persons soul.

Famous Oil Portrait Paintings

We will try to analyze two very different oil portraits from two different eras to understand the true nature of representation through the visual medium.

Leonardo Da Vinciís Mona-Lisa

Mona Lisa, or La Gioconda (La Joconde) was painted in the 16th-century and is an oil painting on poplar wood.This portrait of the unknown model has captured the heart of the millions.For nearly 500 years, a sense of bafflement overwhelms those who stare at Da Vinciís most famous portrait. She appears to be smiling at times and the very next moment the smile fades away. How did the great painter capture such a mysterious expression and why haven't other artists copied it? After running the painting through an emotion recognition software (specially designed for this very purpose), they claimed that the smile is 83% happy, 9% disgusted, 6% fearful, 2% angry, less than 1% neutral, and not surprised at all.

Dora Maar au Chat (Dora Maar with Cat)- Picasso

This potrait of Picassoís mistress with a small cat perched on her shoulder is a specimen his cubist style.His attempt was to represent his mistress in the way he percieved her. Contrasting colors are used to achieve outstanding special effects. No wonder that today its one of the worlds most expensive paintings.

Famous Oil Self Portraits

When the artist create a portrait of him- or herself, it is called a self-portrait. Most famous artists have indulged in self portraiture.There is probably a need in every creative human being to depict oneself in a way which is unique. Self portraiture is a great way of understanding the way an artist percieves himself/herself.

Vincent Van Goghís Self Portrait

In his Self portrait Van Gogh depicts himself as a tortured, pained man. His eyes seem haunted and face weathered. Indeed, Van Gogh in his self portrait makes no attempt to project himself in a flattering light. He uses long harsh strokes and therefore the face gains some kind of angularity. However the painting is hauntingly peaceful. The man may be pained, but you realise, that the person staring back at you knows what he is capable of and in some ways is at pecae with himself.

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