Sunday, 5 June 2016
Joseph Mathias Negelen (1792–1870)
"Victor”, 1828, printed by Jean-François Villain (1822–52 fl.) and published by John Henry Rittner (1802–40)
Lithograph on wove paper
Size: (sheet) 41.8 x 31.3 cm
Signed and dated by the artist in the plate (lower right) and lettered with the title and production details below the image.
Condition: superb impression in near pristine condition.
I am selling this marvellous lithograph by one of the exceptional Swiss portrait artists of the nineteenth century for AU$72 in total (currently US$53.04/EUR46.66/GBP36.54 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this very sensitive rendering of a young boy, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
There may be many books written about the craft of drawing but few writers address the subtle principles behind creating a convincing portrait of a young boy. Consequently, I thought I would have a go.
To make a boy look like a boy and not like a young man is partly to do with proportion of the head size to the rest of the body. More critical, however, a young boy needs to be portrayed so that the viewer looks slightly down on him (i.e. more of the top of his head is shown). Conversely to portray an older youth or an adult, the viewer’s viewpoint is more likely to be at eye-level.
Another principle—and a more contentious one—that is often employed by artists is that young boys seem more like young boys when they are portrayed facing towards the right. Conversely, youths and adults seem more “grounded” (i.e. wise to the world around them) if they are portrayed facing towards the left. The importance of such an arrangement may seem like nonsense but it works. If one were to take a mirror image of this portrait so that the boy faced towards the left rather than the right the psychological meaning of this portrait changes significantly and the boy would seem much older than his young face suggests. This principle is the same as how saints and sinners are portrayed: saints nearly always face towards the left whereas sinners nearly always face towards the right!