Art Around the World


T. Rangaraju, Managing Editor

One question we have to ask ourselves, is why do we make art? To portray a reflection or emotion? To use materials or thoughts to create a sort of movement? To evoke a certain feeling in its viewers? To tell a certain story or perspective? There’s obviously not a right or wrong answer to this vast question, but to start to uncover the answer, we can look at a certain type of art: portraits. Portraits used to be a way to record the appearance of a person, but now, after the invention of cameras and more modern recording devices, they represent so much more. They can show the importance, power, wealth, beauty and perception of the artist or model. Really, a portrait can show anything the artist wants to show because this type of art is truly limitless in its capabilities. 

Throughout the course of art history, portraits have been a truly stable practice among artists. Older-aged artists such as Michelangelo and more modern artists such as Andy Warhol may not seem like they have much in common, but they’re all very similar when looking at their self-portraiture. In this recurring feature article, you will learn about Italy and Zundert, places that have very inspired and talented artists focusing their art mainly on self-portraits. 

Italy is the birthplace of numerous artists, one of the most well-known being Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci’s Portrait of a Man in Red Chalk is believed to be an extremely exquisite self-portrait of a master artist, and he really was a master artist. His work displayed a realism that wasn’t quite achieved by anyone else that lived around his era. Almost everyone has heard of the Mona Lisa, which was also created by this painter. It is considered a masterpiece of the Renaissance, and is definitely of the most widely known, most visited, the most written and talked about piece of art ever.

Zundert, a place in the Netherlands, is also a very interesting place when looking at art. It’s where another popular artist lived: Vincent Van Gogh. Even Though he’s most known for The Starry Night, he’s made some impressive portraits as well. His self-portrait shows himself as aggressive and confident. The portrait looks like he has a very rude face, but in actuality, Van Gogh was trying to achieve painting a realistic portrait without using idealistic posing. 

Throughout history, there have been various and diverse portraits symbolizing different meanings. We only covered two places and two types of artists that created portraits, but the list of great artists is never-ending.