Events | The Power of the Portrait

The Power of the Portrait


Portraiture in Art plays an important role in the fashioning of personal and professional identities. A portrait is a sort of general history of the life of the person it represents. Portraits are most often commissioned at a key moment in the sitter’s life: a promotion or a wedding for example. Painters therefore aim to record the features of their sitters but also to offer insights into their status and their character. The way sitters are shown, their clothing and surroundings all convey something about their character. A portrait commission presents the artist with two fundamental approaches: idealism or realism. It can also set up a tension between artist and sitter; this interaction was arguably most keenly explored by the late Lucian Freud. The rise of the self-portrait in the post-Jungian era led to artists producing psychological portraits of introspection which delve beyond the limitations of photography. The portrait through the ages often provides an invaluable insight into the zeitgeist of each era. Come and explore this fascinating artistic genre.

Please note that this is an event for Soho House members only unless a guest of Nick Nelson