The Portrait

'Mr and Mrs Andrews' - Thomas Gainsborough 1750
Robert Adamson (1821-48) and David Octavius Hill (1802-70) - 'Mr Lane in Indian Dress' 1843-7

A Daguerreotype in a decorative case 19th Century

Julia Margaret Cameron has become famous for her prtraits. This is a photographic portrait of an Italian man, possibly an artist's model called Alessandro Colorossi. She had the ability to create simple and beautiful images, slightly out of focus with a romantic atmosphere. This image could be an advert for a fragrance - it almost looks like a modern advertisment or fashion shot.

'Seth Kinman, California hunter', 1864. Carte de visite photograph by Matthew Brady
'Contortionist, posed in studio' Thiele's Photographic Rooms Circa 1880
Maria Germanova of the Moscow Arts Theatre, costumed for her role in 'Bluebird of Happiness'

Carte de Visite photographs--small albumen prints mounted on cards 2-1/2 by 4 inches--were wildly popular and made for decades in countries around the world. The format was an international standard; for the first time, relatives and friends could exchange portraits, knowing they would find a place in the recipient's family album--whether that album was located in Manchester, Berlin or Brazil. In addition, unlike earlier photographs made with such processes as the daguerreotype and ambrotype, cartes de visite could be sent through the mail without the need for a bulky case and fragile cover-glass. Their small size also made them relatively inexpensive, and they became so widespread that by 1863 Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes would write, "Card portraits, as everybody knows, have become the social currency, the 'green-backs' of civilization."
Joe Jefferson 19th Century Stage actor

The Carte de Vista were not meant to be made up images but by their very nature they ended up being fantastic. People would visit a photographers studio which is an artificial environment with artificial backdrops and props. People would also dress for the occasion from their best cloths, to costumes, to actors publicising their current role. These images would be sent out into the world, representing the individual - it only stands to reason that what appears on the card is an idealised version of the individual. The Carte de vista was the victorian eras version of the image on your Facebook page.
Chuck Close 'Big Self-Portrait' (273 x 212 cm)., 1967-68

Madame Yevonde circa 1930's

Madame Yevonde was a Portrait photographer who was a pioneer in photographic techniques, experimenting with solarisation and associated particularly with the development of the now-defunct Vivex process. Madame Yevonde, like Julia Margaret Cameron, used her high society connections to photograph key figures of her time often in elaborate set up photo-shoots. Yevonde's intention was to promote the artistic element in portraiture. British socialites loved to dress up and to play charades, and Yevonde combined this tendency with her knowledge of the new Parisian portrait style of Man Ray.
Cindy Sherman 'Untitled 96' 1981
By turning the camera on herself, Cindy Sherman has built a name as one of the most respected photographers of the late twentieth century. The majority of her photographs are pictures of herself, however, these photographs are most definitely not self-portraits. Rather, Sherman uses herself as a vehicle for commentary on a variety of issues of the modern world: the role of the woman, the role of the artist and many more. It is through these ambiguous and eclectic photographs that Sherman has developed a distinct signature style. Through a number of different series of works, Sherman has raised challenging and important questions about the role and representation of women in society, the media and the nature of the creation of art.
Sherman came to prominence during the 1970's when performance art was at its height. There is an element of performance to Sherman's images and the photograph is partly a recording of an act. Sherman's early work was black and white film stills from imaginary films. Interestingly as she has got older she has exaggerated the aging process and make up -the characters seem to become more ridiculous and grotesque. Her work as a whole makes you consider mortality and how we age in our own lives.

This is Picasso's portrait of the art dealer Ambroise Vollard who championed and was painted by Cezanne (in 1899). Picasso would claim that this is a more truthful portrait than a traditional approach. The image is fractured and made up of geometric planes - like a piece of broken glass. Vollards bald head explodes and is elongated, his downcast eyes seem closed and his features are merely suggested. The whole image has a similar hue - flesh tones, browns, greens and blues. Picasso would move on from cubism (though a stylised version of it can be seen in his later works) - but ultimately Cubism is his key contribution to art.

Soundtrack Album artwork for the film 'Dancer in the Dark' (2000) dir. Lars von Trier

Daniel Crooks - 'Portrait #1 (Self), Portrait #2 (Chris), Portrait #3 (Chris)'  2007

Frederick Sommer - 'Max Ernst' 1946
This is a photograph of the artist Max Ernst by Frederick Sommer. Ernst was connected to the Surrealists who were interested in the world of the unconscious and dreams. In dreams the everyday mixes and creates strange juxtapositions. In this photograph Frederick Sommer has created a sandwich negative in the dark room by placing two negatives on top of one another. He would have had to alter the exposure time to compensate for using two negatives. Like the surrealists Sommer has Juxtaposed two images - an image of Hass and an old textured wall. Is he making a connection between the decay effects of nature on a man made wall and the ultimate aging effect of time on the human body?

Wanda Wulz - Self Portrait 1932
In this image Wanda Wulz has used the sandwich negative approach to merge herown image with that of a cat. The notion of a human turning into an animal is called anthropomorphism and has been used repeated in literature - for exam Franz Kafka's - 'The Metamorphosis'.
Warhol 'Triple Elvis' 1963. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas
In 'Triple Elvis' a promotional photograph of Elvis is overlaid three times using the silkscreen processThis creates a visual Jump - creating movement in a static image. It also suggests that celebrity is shallow - that stars are turned into products to be consumed by the viewer. When you see a Warhol in the flesh you notice that each silkscreened image is slightly different to the next. Little imperfections give the initially mechanical image painterly qualities.

Dan Mountford - "Double Exposure Series"

thompson etc