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The Power of Portraits

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Altoon Sultan visits the exhibition The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on view through March 18, 2012.

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."

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