Usually we consider the fine arts as unpractical part of our life; and traditionally people do not apply art information to the reality.
However, art is a way to study people’s inner world, their senses, mood, and behavior. In this approach, art is a door to psychology. We recognize human feelings in portraits based on analyzing mimic, gestures, and movements of the portraits.
Try your ability to read a portrait, seeing a depicted image as a personality to whom you can communicate through the centuries, reading between the lines of a portrait’s colors, shape, and details, becoming psychologists who can describe a character from the first glance.
In portraits artists express a sitter’s personalities by mimic (direction of view and conditions of face’s muscles); gestures (positions of hands); and body movements (position and turning of shoulders and body in portrait).
Positive mood in a portrait is characterized by straight and friendly direction of view, vivid and merry mimic, open gestures, parallel position of shoulders and body. Altogether it expresses the willingness to contact with the audience like on the Portrait of the French Actress Jeanne Samary by P.O.Renoir, 1877
Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia.
A person’s feelings could be perceived as gregarious, extroverted, social, and vivacious. The list is endless. You could continue it easily.
Negative mood is characterized by fixed, stared, strained attention of view, self-absorbed and concentrated mimic, close gestures. Position of shoulders and body turns and closes from the audience. A person looks melancholic, introverted, secluded and solitude.
Negative mood is characterized by fixed, stared, strained attention of view, self-absorbed and concentrated mimic, close gestures. Position of shoulders and body turns and closes from the audience. A person looks melancholic, introverted, secluded and solitude like on the Portrait of Russian writer Feodor Dostoyevsky
by V. Perov, 1872, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.
Ask yourself are portraits still boring for you? What do you think about your next visit to art museum? Could you see there more than just pictures of people?
Learning how to recognize human’s feelings in both art pieces and real life helps to navigate in art and real world. “The mind can only see what it is prepared to see” as Maltese psychologist, Edward de Bono, stated. I am sure that your mind is now prepared to not only see portraits, but also understand feelings that portraits and real people are expressed.