I have always been facinated with the quotes of famous artists rather than the opinions of art historians that try to explain what a particular artist was trying to convey. Hopefully the quotes included in this site will help better explain what the masters were really trying to do with their portrait painting.
"Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend."
"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."
“If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.”
“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
“The secret to so many artists living so long is that every painting is a new adventure. So, you see, they're always looking ahead to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back.”
“My great longing is to learn to make those very incorrectnesses, those deviations, remodellings, changes of reality, so that they may become, yes, untruth if you like - but more true than the literal truth.”
“The painter will produce pictures of little merit if he takes the works of others as his standard.”
“Vincent van Gogh
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
“No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.”
“Leonardo da Vinci
“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
“A man walks through life painting a portrait, not of what he would have done, could have done, or should have done, but of what he did”
“The reason some portraits don't look true to life is that some people make no effort to resemble their pictures.”
"When you start with a portrait and search for a pure form, a clear volume, through successive eliminations, you arrive inevitably at the egg. Likewise, starting with the egg and following the same process in reverse, one finishes with the portrait."
“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.”