In Europe, and especially Great Britain, we have a relationship with portraiture. We only have to visit an old style gallery or stately home to cast our eyes over the people of the past, seated in-front of the (then equivalent of photographers) posing in their best regalia.
This is people watching at its finest, somewhat akin to the modern selfie, albeit of a better quality, and with good reason. As opposed to digital photography, being accessible to quite literally everybody in the modern arena, the act of commissioning a talented artist to undertake your portrait work is becoming a must have for those with the funds, and patience. The record of which will be an extremely worthy keepsake.
Peruse the repertoire, style & scope of your artist before hiring them, whilst remembering the more intricate and realistic the painting is, the longer it is likely to take.
Bespoke paintings can cost from £500 for an unknown artist, right up to over £20,000 for well known artists at the top of their game.
There will be very few who have not seen halls of fine estates decked with the portraiture of people of yesteryear, not least promoted by those ever so popular Tv series broadcast around the globe from Downton Abbey, to Sherlock Homes. By walking along these corridors we can see that many of the subjects are not smiling, or at the very least, as in the case of the Mona Lisa, are they? Despite this, whilst there have been many different influences on portraiture over the tides of time, the long bridge of time has kept one element of this artform which has been passed down through generations, only surviving with the very best of talent. The ability to interject a seemingly unemotional face with the most acute of subtlety is surpassed only by the most talented of artist. It is these nuances which are the cause for our pause as we visit each piece, stopping to survey the face in question, and always wondering “what are are they thinking”? If we were to pay close attention to these ponderings, we would become aware of how current and lifelike the subject is. They are nearer to us in time, albeit perceptively than we would originally perceive.
Preservation is the main selling point for many people seeking to obtain an artist for their portraiture. Photographs somehow do not always convey the depth of character which a painting can, despite our acutely pixellated, high quality existence, this is often not captured by the best of smartphones. Alas, many of us are not trained to do so. Next, multiply this level of skill in an inventory containing no less than 13 or more people in succession, and we have pieces of art such as De Magere Compagnie, Frans Hals, 1637.
Thou hast seen
nothing yet. Look a little more, all will be revealed.
Next, multiply this level of skill in an inventory containing no less than 13 or more people in succession, and we have pieces of art such as De Magere Compagnie, Frans Hals, 1637. There is an entire conversation occurring in such paintings, it is practically deafening. Whilst this is not a traditional portrait, the pressure on the artist is the same, to depict the psychological state, personality and environmental position of the person(s) with as much accuracy as possible, simultaneously.
With over $450 million dollars for the Salvator Mundi, by Leonardo Da Vinci, the benchmark has been set as collectors at the top end of the market hone in on the Klimpt, Modigliani, or Lichensteins. Being honest, the Mona Lisa has been valued at over $850 million, but alas, this is not for sale.
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