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IN-PERSON: “How does my hair look?” The History of Portraiture and Self-Portraiture in Art and Photography   

**This class will be taught In-Person**

This course will examine the history of portraiture and self-portraiture in both art and  photography. We'll examine why portraits began, what were their meanings, what roles did they  play in society and the home, and how those roles may have changed over time. We'll explore what we can find out about the person or persons that are depicted. We'll look at different  techniques that artists have used, and how rules were established and then broken. We'll see why portraits interest us, or if they don't, why not? 


Week by Week Outline 


Week one: We'll examine the history of the portrait starting from Egyptian tomb depictions. We'll examine  the role of portraits over the years and how that has changed with modern portraiture. We'll think about  self-portraits and when and why they started. 

Week two: What were the customs and rules of portraiture and self-portraits? How were they broken and  by whom? We'll examine the great early portraitists such as Rembrandt and Dürer. We'll see what tools  and symbols portraitists use to inform us of their subjects.

Week three: What stories do portraits tell and what stories lie behind the portraits that they've created?  We'll examine the relationships formed between the artist and the subject, such as the one between  Picasso and Gertrude Stein, or Matisse and Sarah Stein.  

Week four: We'll examine the psychology behind the self-portrait. For example, we will trace how  Rembrandt started out as a brash young man and how age and circumstance changed his appearance in  his portraits, and examine the tortured soul behind Van Gogh's self-portraits.  

Week five: Portraits and self-portraits as seen through the lens of a camera. We'll start with Nadar's  portraits and self-portraits and move to the present, with works by Cindy Sherman and Yasumasa  Morimura. 

Week six: The modern portrait. We'll explore how modern artists have stretched the boundaries of what a  traditional portrait looks like, as well as discuss the ways that they conform to the "rules" of portraiture.  


This class is not available at this time.  

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