They think I only seize the features of their face, but I sink inside them unnoticed, and I take them away entirely.
Maurice Quentin Latour
It is the sum of his analysis and synthesis that gives the portraitist the image he is looking for. And when it arises, it sometimes astonishes him. Nothing is more mysterious than this re-creation done as if outside himself, but with the help of all his capacities, drawn only toward the expression of this “concept”, penetrating so deep. His work becomes endowed with a life and a soul of their own. It breaks away from its creator and gives him away its own secrets. For creating reveals us to ourselves.
Elise Rieuf - La leçon des Maîtres
For a genuine painter, seeing his works exhibited in public - even though they are portraits - is having his intimacy displayed to a wide attendance ; he feels the same embarrassment as if he were confiding in public. Nevertheless, disregarded or not, he feels the impetuous necessity of doing so.