Elizabeth Peyton is an American artist whose painting tactic comprises of operating directly from pictures. These photographs may be hers or may belong to others. Peyton has become famous for the depiction of celebrated and regal personalities. These portraits contain a homogenous and feminine characteristic about them no matter who is being portrayed.

Watercolors with Elizabeth Peyton

Her colour palette comprises of vibrant hues as well as black and white shades. Canvases are limply painted with slight washy glazes generating a watercolor manifestation. Her paintings are shallow in depth and Peyton permits the white of the canvas to peek through the paint regularly in place of the subject’s skin. These likenesses often do not emerge as being in proportion and this unevenness has been both censured and praised.

Here You Can Get a Price Quote

Form and Content

Her portrayals on paper provocatively address attractiveness and visual gratification. She utilizes an assortment of printmaking practices as well as materials. By preferring to portray icons, historical personalities, artists, acquaintances, and lately still lives Peyton investigates the characters that the long-established fields of portraiture and still life can fulfill in modern art. Elizabeth Peyton produces portraits of individuals she knows well. These include her associates, colleague artists, her art agents and brokers, as well as historical personalities, icons, and politicians. She selects her subjects cautiously and often portrays them as youthful adults in the period before they became well known or celebrated (Mullins, 2008). Peyton illustrates all of these persons uniformly in her art by showing them with identical meditative expressions. Her subjects are also free from their political, communal, and economical frameworks. By portraying these assorted personalities as equals, Peyton fashions a democratized variety of portraiture.

Can't complete your paper?
Need a quick, creative solution?

Never too late to get it done by our pros

Write My Paper

History of Portraits

Before the discovery of cameras, portraiture was the only way to produce the image of an individual. Often, portraits also show person’s temperament and public stature in addition to their physical looks. This is depicted through the pose, appearance, garments worn, and scenery selected by the painter or the sitter. Portrait painting started to surface as a distinctive genre and vocation in 15th-century Europe, when pious paintings integrated the images of donors. From the Renaissance on persons with authority or riches commissioned pictures to reinforce their own influence or to memorialize another significant person. By representing their associates, celebrated cultural figures and anonymous town dwellers the 19th-century artists Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, and Honoré Daumier assisted in extending the field of portraiture to the poorer- and middle-class subjects. Today, many painters carry on investigating the modern relevance of the conventional principles of portrait making.

From her initial portraits of performing artistes like Kurt Cobain and Jarvis Cocker to more up-to-date paintings all of Peyton’s works constitute of people who motivate her artistic temperament. Elizabeth Peyton’s artistic works represent an account of America at the closing stages of the last century. A painter of contemporary culture, Peyton’s diminutive, jewel-like portrayals are also extremely sympathetic, warm, and even personal (Mullins, 2008). Together, her artistic works depict a creative zeitgeist that replicates the cultural ambiance of the previous twentieth and beginning twenty-first centuries. Peyton surfaced as a front line voice in the revisitation of narrative figuration in the modern painting period of the 1990s. She is among a small group of painters who expand an atypical fusion of pragmatism and conceptualism.

While her paintings allude to nineteenth-century modernist creations from Eduard Manet to John Singer Sargent, Peyton mulls over the works of these masters through a deep appreciation of twentieth-century artists such as Andy Warhol. In the vein of Warhol Peyton’s art is utilized by the culture it embraces. A radiant colorist with a jagged graphic intuition, her paintings are extremely seductive in appearance and substance. They commemorate the aesthetics of the formative years, recognition, and artistic genius. They also evidence Peyton’s hidden obsession with beauty in all its shapes. Ultimately, Peyton’s paintings are a confirmation of a commitment to the construction of a new class of fashionable art. Though often centered on history, her portraits fill the breach between art and everyday existence.

Elizabeth Peyton has recently turned to the processes of printmaking to create portraits. Exhibitions of her work in the recent past years have revealed lithographs, engravings, woodcut impressions, and monotypes. Diverse printing methods entail different investments of time and labor. Ukiyo-e woodcuts, for instance, need a specialist and frequently fifty or more plates. Alternatively, monotypes are completed quickly in roughly 24 hours (Hoptman, 2011). Peyton says she was attracted to printmaking for many reasons. Printmaking has an essential ability to generate several images and it represents a challenge of operating with a new medium. The speed with which Peyton can produce prints also differs in comparison with paintings. Similar to her paintings, Peyton’s prints combine the individual beauty and personality of her sitters with the recognized distinctiveness and selective meaningful potentials of her preferred medium. Peyton’s portraits frequently convey an ageless quality. This is depicted in the fine points of modern life through her sitters’ garments, poses, localities, and facial appearances (Hoptman, 2011).

Though loveliness was conventionally considered a feature of exquisite art, in the 20th century a group of artists and detractors began to relate beauty with exclusivity and political supremacy and consequently abandoned it as a universal value. The function of beauty in modern aesthetics may be altering, however, more painters such as Elizabeth Peyton depict visual gratification in their work (Hoptman, 2011).

Finding Meaning

Instead of complying with modern models of beauty, which are instituted by popular media, Peyton portrays her subjects with an eternal, genderless characteristic that is free from societal and political allusions. Recently, Peyton created a number of still lifes and paintings that seem to favor abstraction. It is not the individuals or items she paints that are beautiful, but the brushstrokes, hues, and linear angles through which she discloses her empathy for them. This consideration and admiration that Peyton exhibits for all her subjects is indispensable to her art. Through portraiture Peyton searches for the character of people, or the behaviors that distinguish her subjects outside their physical qualities.

Cultural Associations

Many of the painters that Peyton prefers to characterize connect with the concept of beauty in their own works, specifically the connection of attractiveness and gender. For instance, many of Robert Mapplethorpe’s pictures reanimate the conventional canon of beauty by portraying male models in the postures of antique statues (Hoptman, 2011). Frida Kahlo, another artist that Peyton illustrates, is recognized for her candid self-portraits that convey her femininity and Mexican legacy. Kahlo’s works do not camouflage her disability or the bodily and mental pain she endured due to her condition.


The works of Elizabeth Peyton are brilliant and stimulating. Copied or electronic images do not fully convey the characteristics of the paintings. The famous people that she portrays are usually captured in the process of thinking rather than in the posture of feeling. Illustrating introspection instead of the emotion-laden deportment that society applauds when concentrating on a celebrity may confuse some viewers. Elizabeth Peyton succeeds in capturing something that many individuals do not think or search for until they see her portraits.

Here You Can Get a Price Quote
Discount applied successfully