Street writes that "Mendes' paintings are really only portraits at a remove. Strictly speaking, they're portraits treated as still lifes, paintings of photographic images made distant in the retelling. And the photographs themselves have an implicit distance from their subjects: they're headshots selected for their likeness, or ability to capture the essence of what makes that person worthy of remembrance. A succession of visual choices creates a crowded back-story in any painting by Mendes. Each one bears an important question about an individual’s relationship with the tangible world..."
Sultan writes: "When we look at a portrait painted hundreds of years ago, do we enter into the life of the person portrayed? For me, it is less the understanding of a particular life, than the human feelings of tenderness, beauty, vulnerability, thoughtfulness, or strength, that come when looking at portraits; my heart yearns toward them. I sense these qualities more intensely in the direct, simple clarity of form in Quattrocento painting and sculpture."
Chloe Nelkin visits the exhibition Lucian Freud Portraits at The National Portrait Gallery, London, on view through May 27, 2012.
Nelkin writes that "a biographical approach is inevitable when discussing Freud... but, here, you must just look and revel in the opportunity that is being afforded you and give his work the close attention it deserves. It is an intimate exhibition and the scale of some of the smaller rooms is intended to mimic the scale of his studio... This is a living exhibition; Freud's paintings allow us to see the real people behind the paint with human frailty at its most magnified.
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.