Listen to part of a lecture in an art history class.
As you know, portrait artists often position their subjects so that their head is turned a little to one side,
thereby presenting the artist with a semi-side view, a semi-profile view.
And for some reason, western European artists have historically tended to show the left-side of the subject’s face, more than the right.
A while back, some researchers examine about 1500 portraits painted from the 16th to the 20th century in Western Europe.
And in the majority of them, it’s the left side of the face that’s most prominently displayed.
Why is that? And interesting enough, this tendency to show the left side has diminished over time, especially in the 20th century.
In fact, the left-right ratio is now about 1:1---50% left, 50% right. Why is that?
We do know that for many artists, the choice of left side, right side was very important.
There is an image by the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh called the Potato Eaters that shows the profiles of a group of farmers.
It’s a lithograph, which is a print made from images drawn on a stone.