Portraits Quotes

Quotes tagged as "portraits" Showing 1-17 of 17
Abraham Lincoln
“There are no bad pictures; that's just how your face looks sometimes.”
Abraham Lincoln

Richard Avedon
“A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth. ”
Richard Avedon

Héloïse d'Argenteuil
“If the portraits of our absent friends are pleasant to us, which renew our memory of them and relieve our regret for their absence by a false and empty consolation, how much more pleasant are letters which bring us the written characters of the absent friend.”
Héloïse d'Argenteuil, The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse

Celeste Ng
“...the thing about portraits is, you need to show people the way they want to be seen. And I prefer to show people as I see them.”
Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

Anatole Broyard
“The contents of someone's bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait."

(About Books; Recoiling, Rereading, Retelling, New York Times, February 22, 1987)”
Anatole Broyard

“All my images are self-portraits, even when I'm not in them.”
Nuno Roque

Jean Lorrain
“There is nothing to be found in human eyes, and that is their terrifying and dolorous enigma, their abominable and delusive charm. There is nothing but that which we put there ourselves. That is why honest gazes are only to be found in portraits.

The faded and weary eyes of martyrs, expressions tortured by ecstasy, imploring and suffering eyes, some resigned, others desperate... the gazes of saints, mendicants and princesses in exile, with pardoning smiles... the gazes of the possessed, the chosen and the hysterical... and sometimes of little girls, the eyes of Ophelia and Canidia, the eyes of virgins and witches... as you live in the museums, what eternal life, dolorous and intense, shines out of you! Like precious stones enshrined between the painted eyelids of masterpieces, you disturb us across time and across space, receivers of the dream which created you!

You have souls, but they are those of the artists who wished you into being, and I am delivered to despair and mortification because I have drunk the draught of poison congealed in the irises of your eyes.

The eyes of portraits ought to be plucked out.”
Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

“What my portraits are made of?
10% reality, 90% my philosophy.”
Scuro Chiaro

“... she suddenly looks different to Olympia, physically different, as though a portrait has been alterred. And Olympia thinks that possibly such adjustments might have to be made for everyone she knows. Upon meeting a person, a sketch is formed, and for the life of the relationship, however intimate or not, a portrait is painted, with oils or pastels or with black ink or with watercolor, and only at a persons's death can the portraits be considered finished. Perhaps not even at the person's death.”
Anita Shreve, Fortune's Rocks

“I love portraits. I've always been fascinated by the fact that when you put a frame on something you create limits for it. It makes it look dead. The same works with labels, which is a popular hobby most people have nowadays, labeling.”
Nuno Roque

Simone St. James
“She had been fair at drawing before the war. She’d drawn her mother dozens of times, as she sat reading or sewing. There had been so many things in those days that kept a person still, that required perfect concentration for hours on end. It had been easy to draw portraits.”
Simone St. James, The Broken Girls

Isaac du Toit
“Inside the once luxurious rooms for entertainment were the portraits of Greenwood family members long gone, the paintings now damp and chilly. They were arranged throughout the house like discarded memories, moments now trapped in time.”
Isaac du Toit, The Greenwood Ghosts

Freedom Matthews
“I followed the older woman out to the foyer. Taking the stairs, I scanned each painting that lined the walls. I stilled as I found a portrait that could only have been Nathaniel. He looked young and brash, no more than fifteen. His suit was painted in a regal colour, it set off his tanned skin and sky blue eyes.
"Handsome devil was he not?" Bess chuckled. "Or should I say, 'is he not'?"
I fought the urge to blush as I trailed after the housekeeper.”
Freedom Matthews, Inherited

Neil Gaiman
“The joy and power of portraiture is that it freezes us in time. Before the portrait, we were younger. After it has been created we will age or we will rot. Even Marc Quinn's chilled nightmare self-protraits in liquid silicone and blood can only preserve a specific moment in time: they cannot age and die as Quinn does and will.

Ask the question, Who are we? and the portraits give us answers of a sort.

We came from here, the old ones say. These were our kings and queens, our wise ones and our fools. We walk into the BP exhibition hall and they tell us who we are today: a confluence of artistic styles and approaches, of people we could pass in the streets. We look like this, naked and clothed, they tell us. We are here, in this image, because a painter had something to say. Because we are all interesting. Because we cannot gaze into a mirror without being changed. Because we do not know who we are, but sometimes there is a light caught in someone's eyes, that comes close to giving us the tiniest hint of an answer.”
Neil Gaiman, The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction

Hannah Richell
“She is about to close the book and return it to the desk when she catches sight of a face passing on the flickering pages. She leafs her way back until she finds it again- not an entire face, but a section; an eye, the sweep of a cheekbone, the curved line of a neck observed from side-on; all illustrated as if seen in the reflection of a small, oval mirror. A car-wing mirror.
She peers at the page more closely, breath held in her chest as the moment returns to her: sitting in Charles's new car, Jack scrunched in the back and Lillian in the front, a peacock barring their path. It is exactly how he would have seen her reflected back at him in the wing-mirror.
As with the other drawings, the accuracy is remarkable. She is amazed at his ability to recall the smallest details. There is the pearl stud at her earlobe and the almost indiscernible beauty spot above her lip. Yet the more closely she studies the sketch, the more she is discomforted. It isn't just the precision of the pencil lines conjuring her on the paper- butt more the expression he has captured- a certain wistfulness she hadn't known she wore so plainly. The portrait feels so intimate; almost as if he had laid her bare on the page.
She continues to leaf through the sketches and finds a second portrait. This time she is seated in the drawing room, her face turned to the window, the skirt of her dress falling in a fan to to the floor. A third reveals her standing on the terrace, leaning against the balustrade, a long evening dress sweeping about her legs. The night of the party. The next page shows just her arm, identifiable by a favorite diamond bracelet dangling at the wrist. The last is of her head and shoulders, viewed from behind, the curves of her neck rising up to a twisted knot of hair. Looking at the images she isn't sure how she feels; flattered to be seen, to be deemed worthy of his time and attention, though at the same time a little uncomfortable at the intimacy of his gaze and at the thought of having been so scrutinized when she hadn't even known he was watching her.”
Hannah Richell, The Peacock Summer

“The Greeks produced lively portraits and the aesthetes living ones, but perhaps we will be the first generation to wholly abandon the portrait in favor of life itself.”
Michael Shindler

“I conceived the idea from my personal everyday experience, so what's better than to capture myself in the perfect mood.”