Give Your Art Collection a Face With These Portraits!

Collectors' Tip, Top Lists

February 26, 2020

As Charles Baudelaire once wrote, what could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound than a portrait?

Humans have portrayed one another for thousands of years, immortalizing and documenting our evolution and being. With numerous opportunities for depth, empathy and experimentation, portraiture depicts the times and context we live in alongside the representation of the individual. Varying in mediums, great portraits capture people, their moments, expressions and state of mind.

If you are looking to add a portrait to your collection, we have made a great selection for you to browse!

Featured image: Salvador Dali - The Inferno (detail). All images courtesy of ArtWise.

Larry Rivers - Golden Tales, 1990

A true American renaissance man, Larry Rivers was one of the first artists to merge non-objective, non-narrative art with narrative and objective abstraction. His practice fused the lively mark-making of Abstract Expressionism with the commercial images of advertising. For that, he is considered by many scholars to be the key founding father of Pop Art.

Printed on heavy wove paper by Michael Mackenzie, the lithograph Golden Tales from 1990 features hand-coloring by Rivers.

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Alberto Giacometti - Buste, 1995

A Swiss sculptor, painter, draughtsman and printmaker, Alberto Giacometti established his unique aesthetic style with delicate figurative sculptures and expressive portraits that resulted from intense observations. His artistic output combines ideas coming from the norms of primitive art, psychoanalytic theory and children’s art.

Part of the limited edition reproduction of Giacometti's Buste, 1954Buste is a drawing executed in simple lines.

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Pablo Picasso - Tete de Jeune Homme, 1948

One of the most important figures of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso was not only a master painter but also a sculptor, printmaker, ceramics artist, etching artist and writer. Continuously experimented throughout his career, he completely redefined artistic practice and its purpose.

The work Tete de Jeune Homme is an example of Picasso's Neoclassical period, evoking the classic modeling of the Greek sculptors.

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David Hockney - Drawings and Prints (Peter with Scarf), 1997

A celebrated English painter, printmaker, photographer and stage designer, David Hockney has redefined the medium of painting during over six decades of creation. Throughout his practice, Hockney has examined, probed, and questioned how to capture the perceived world of movement, space, and time in two dimensions, bringing a whole new creative dimension into contemporary art.

The work Peter with Scarf is a portrait of Peter Schlesinger, Hockney's frequent model and romantic partner who appeared in some of his most famous canvases. The work is an exhibition poster for Hockney's 1970 exhibition Ziechnungen und Druckgraphik at Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich.

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Andy Warhol - Queen Elizabeth II of England from Reigning Queens, 1996

A pioneering figure for many things including screenprint, Andy Warhol had created an enormous body of work that spanned every available medium, at the same time elevating his own persona to the level of a popular icon. Over the course of his career, the artist created hundreds of portraits of both celebrities and people who surrounded him.

Queen Elizabeth II of England is the first edition exhibition poster designed by Warhol for Art Expo Denmark in 1986, featuring the Reigning Queens portfolio. The image is derived from an official photograph taken by Peter Grugeon and released for her Silver Jubilee in 1977 and overlaid with Warhol's trademark abstract blocks of color.

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Saul Steinberg - Le Couple, 1971

Initially a Political Scientist and Philosopher, Saul Steinberg has achieved legendary status for his long standing career as cartoonist and illustrator for The New Yorker. Through his art, he explored social and political systems, language, and art itself. He was a modernist without a portfolio, constantly crossing boundaries into uncharted visual territory.

The work Le Couple from 1971 carries the distinct depth and visual imagination of his oeuvre.

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Salvador Dalí - The Inferno

Certainly one of the most famous, interesting, eccentric and talked-about personalities in art history, Salvador Dalí combined avant-garde subject matter with academic style, paving the way for generations of artists to come. In addition to his works on canvas, Dali produced works on paper for reproduction using drypoint, etching, woodcut, and lithography.

The Inferno incorporates many recurring themes that Dalí made use of in his body of work.

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