soulless/emotionless portrait

Discussion in 'English Only' started by keramus, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. keramus

    keramus Senior Member

    Hello everybody

    I want to describe this portrait:
    As you see, this is a soulless/emotionless portrait.The man doesn't show any emotion and you can't guess what he felt at that moment.
    Which word sounds better?
    I think the second one sounds better but I'm not sure.

  2. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    Hullo Keramus. Yes, I prefer emotionless ~ after all, you can't actually see whether he has a soul or not:D

    (He looks like he's advertising cheese to me ...:cool:)
  3. truffe2miel

    truffe2miel Senior Member

    French (France)
    Well if you say either of these adjectives, you don't talk about the man pictured in it but solely about the portrait, the work generally speaking. You implies that the artist had no real talent other than purely technical, that his work is soulless.

    But you could say that the man pictured in this piece of art does not seem to feel any kind of emotion, he is empty or does not want to show his emotions.
  4. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    I tend to support truffe2miel - the "portrait" is the painting - the painting is not "soulless/unemotional" - the man might be. "The portrait is of an emotionless man."
  5. truffe2miel

    truffe2miel Senior Member

    French (France)
    In fact, if I may express an opinion on the emotions shown, I'd say he looks endlessly bored. Maybe because he had to stand there for heaven knows how long, holding something he probably doesn't feel particularly hot about to his heart.

    If this is so, then the artist may either be excellent in rendering emotions (boredom is not so easy to paint !), or politically trained as he succeeded in fulfilling an order without sticking to the core of it (which most often is about enhance the prestige of the often rich customer).... or (why not) both.
  6. Dretagoto

    Dretagoto Senior Member

    Inglés británico
    I'd have to second truffe2miel's opinion on this - he looks bored and deeply unimpressed - a very common thing to capture in a photograph, but quite unusual in portraiture. As for the rest, describing the portrait as emotionless or soulless is a judgement on the quality of the artistry, whereas describing the subject as emotionless is a description of the indvidual as portrayed.

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