Paint the soul... Portraiture and how we look now
‘Paint the soul, never mind the arms and legs…..’ is a quotation from Browning’s poem Fra Fillipo Lippi, where a prior is admonishing a wayward painter monk who has more than an eye for the ladies.
An overview of the development of portraiture is given from the medieval to the modern period, with examples from Holbein to Freud. The changing role of the portrait is explored with the impact of the advent of photography, where creating ‘the arms and legs’ ceases to be a challenge. What does a modern portrait show us?