Somber Portrait Painters

Sadness, melancholy and gloom have found an outlet in artists throughout history and in the depiction of figurative art. Through artists, humanity and their emotional and physical states are portrayed to be viewed and related to. The instant recognition of such a grave subject also plagues human history itself, thus carving out its own rightful spot amongst the history of art movements. In Edgar Degas' 1875 painting L'Absinthe, where viewers see a portrait of a young woman solemnly contemplating her situation, disengaged from their gaze, her surroundings, maybe even from herself. 

Dark hues and colors define somber portrait painting and can highlight the cause of such sadness, whether that be the subject's emotional state or a greater rendering of the world's expanse and the human existence within it. Existential or not, the traits of somber artwork can be found in our own collection of portraits on Artsper. The portraiture work of Nicolas Fropo de Habart works the body in all its dimensions to create an absolute feeling of vastness while Antoine Stevens also depicts wandering souls in his dimmed portraiture. But given the nature of humanity, somber depictions of the figure are not entirely unexpected…

Read more

All Artists