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Composition in Portraiture [Series: The Literature of Photography]

Hartmann, Sadakichi (Sidney Allan)

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ISBN 10: 0405049145 / ISBN 13: 9780405049149
Published by Arno Press, New York., 1973
Condition: Good Hardcover
From Tiber Books (Cockeysville, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

8vo, hardcover. No dj. Good condition. Ex-lib copy w/ crossed-out stamps to text-block edges, rear pocket, spine labels removed; exterior lightly rubbed/soiled, contents clean, binding firm. 116 p., illus. Bookseller Inventory # 1081111.43

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Composition in Portraiture [Series: The ...

Publisher: Arno Press, New York.

Publication Date: 1973

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good

About this title


This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1909 edition. Excerpt: ... JHE full-face view, in which both sides of the face are perfectly symmetrical, and in which the ridge of the nose is seen as two lines and not as one diagonal line against the cheek, has been used to good effect by the Madonna painters of old and also by many of the portraitists from Rembrandt to the present day. Reynolds was particularly fond of it. It does not lend itself quite as easily to photo-portraiture. The full-face view with the head perfectly erect always looks a trifle stiff, and only a clever management of accessories and background can render it graceful. It depends too much on careful composition for ordinary use. If rightly handled, it is dignified in appearance, and the larger the head the easier it is to manage. Another difficulty is the absence of strong shadows. A full face is generally seen in an even light. Of course, one can concentrate the light on the forehead and leave the rest in shadow, and light it from the side or from below; but even then the contrast of light and shade is less pronounced than in three-quarter views. For it is the nose that is the great shadow maker (I almost said trouble maker) in chiaroscural composition. In the full-face view, so long as it is seen under ordinary light conditions, an even light distribution is the principal characteristic. If you see a face out of doors against the source of light (Fig. i), the face is darker than the background, but the values of the face are all seen in middle tints without strong highlights and shadows. The same relation of values exists, only vice versa, light against dark, if a face is seen under the normal light condition of an interior (Fig. 5). There is really no strong shadow except under the chin and sometimes, as in this case, under the nose....

About the Author:

Jane Weaver is the Americanist on the research staff of the Frick Art Reference Library photo archive in New York. She received her doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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