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Australian portraiture: naturalistic and imagined


Jackett, A, Australian portraiture: naturalistic and imagined, International Journal of the Arts in Society , 6, (3) pp. 67-73. ISSN 1833-1866 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 Common Ground, Amy Elizabeth Jackett

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There is something magnetic about portraits. Portraits ignite connections with others through art and resonate with a diverse audience. For the purposes of this paper, portraits are defined as works of art that are based on a living or once living individual and consciously made to be viewed by others. Adding to the increasingly diverse ways of thinking about portraiture as a genre, this paper contrasts the different characteristics of two forms of portraiture termed ‘naturalistic’ and ‘imagined’. To establish the unique properties that distinguish imagined portraiture from the more traditional conventions of naturalistic portraiture, it delves into the complexities intrinsic in the portrait genre, concentrating on one particular duality that relates to the perceived function of portraiture–whether portraits are valued in a documentary or an artistic sense. In contrast with naturalistic portraits which privilege mimesis, this paper reveals that imagined portraits privilege a high projection of the artist. To illustrate the differences between these strands of portraiture, this paper draws on the work of two Australian artists: Sidney Nolan and John Lendis.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australian portraiture, imagined portraiture
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Art history, theory and criticism
Research Field:Art theory
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in creative arts and writing studies
UTAS Author:Jackett, A (Mrs Amy Jackett)
ID Code:76045
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Academic Division
Deposited On:2012-02-24
Last Modified:2015-03-12

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