Mirror with memory 3

Marius Vyšniauskas
www.kamane.lt, 2014-10-22
From the left: Anonymous author (Frenchman?), “,Odalisca,” 1840, deguerreotype; Guillaume Duchenne de Boulogne performing electro-stimulation experiments on patient’s face, 19th c.

In brief: The craving to capture the human being as an acting and thinking being on the surface marks the exceptional features of our species and the wish to remain immortalised in time. Perhaps this is the reason why portraitists of all times strove to reveal the internal world of the human being, to show what hides behind the face. People spoke about the famous Russian portraitist Ilya Repin (1844–1930) that he could see the soul of every model. The invention of photography granted the possibility to “denude” the human being, to reveal and show him not as a deity but as a sinful personality locked in constant confrontation.

In the article the author goes through pages of history of portrait photography and presents the most important portraitists of the world, reveals their ideas, theories that were announced and followed by separate photographers and their impact on the later development of portrait photography, discusses early photographs that have survived in collections stored at Lithuanian museums.

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