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Vermeer profile

detail of painting by Vermeer

Last night I came upon this passage in a book called PICASSO AND PORTRAITURE. The author wrote something very interesting on profiles in portraiture. He wrote,

“The profile was felt to capture the true and timeless character of the subject’s face, disengaged from the accidentality of everyday perception; it was almost invariably used for emblematic images of rank or power, as in the official portraits stamped on coins. The profile deliberately distanced the viewer from the person portrayed.”

I’ve always loved drawing profiles and I would sometimes intentionally set myself up so that I’m drawing the model’s profile. Now I feel myself validated.