Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Public Portrait

If you went to your local newsstand today and picked up a magazine that normally deals with celebrity gossip and the Hollywood beat, chances are on the cover would be a large picture of some celebrity posing in such a way that makes them seem wealthy, noble, or just in a much higher class than you and I. This is of course because they are indeed wealthy and much higher class than you and I. The idea of these photographs and portraits that show off ones wealth and nobility however, is not a recent thing. This type of photography dates way back to about the nineteenth century. Back then, galleries would be filled with works of artists that portrayed Kings, Queens, and Nobles as extremely important people. Once again, this being of course because they were extremely important people. Portraits of these higher beings would show "the signs of greatness and character that these individuals stood for." The galleries that displayed these images "were introducing to Americans the beginnings of a culture of celebrity.." As we look around today, this culture has to an extent taken over society. I believe it is safe to say it has become an extremely large influence on the way most Americans, especially young adults, live their lives.


At 10:30 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

According to Orwell, the artistic tradtion of "the public portrait" helps us to understand one genre of modern photography. Ideas about celebrity and fame have been transformed with the emergence of photography and the mass media. A new aristocracy had emerged to replace the old european notion of kings & queens, etc. . .


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