The Eyes Have It! No… It’s the Nose! – A Riff on Facial Recognition

Vegder's Blog

When did artists first develop the skill to recreate in portraiture a reasonable likeness of the person being drawn or painted? I don’t know? Nor does anyone else for that matter. But what I do know is that the ability to make an image identifiable was slow in coming and varied from culture to culture. In fact, there were periods when portraits were basically true to nature and then something went wrong and the skill level declined into mere nothingness. Not even into caricatures and it took centuries before that skill could be reapplied.  But I’ll get back to that later. For now I want to start off this post with a two-pronged approach:  some general principles and thoughts about how we know what we are seeing is what we are seeing followed by a discussion of the development of portraiture in Japanese woodblock prints.

For the infant this is “…a big blooming…

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