Comment: This text offers a great introduction to the topic of portraiture and an overview of the subject. It can also be useful in a wider context of depiction and representation.
Artworks to use with this text:
Jan Van Eyck, Madonna With Chancellor Rolin (1433) vs Rogier van der Weyden, The Donor, Chancellor Rolin, Kneeling in Prayer; from the reverse of Last Judgment Polyptych (1445)
A comparison of these two paintings reveals how likenesses are always mediated by the varying functions of portraits and the distinct styles of the artists.
Angelica Kauffmann, Portrait of J.W. Goethe (1787-8)
For women artists such as Kauffmann the control of the gaze during sessions with male sitters could be socially uncomfortable but empowering.