Unidentified Portrait

Dublin Core


Unidentified Portrait


Besser, Leonard




18 5/8h x 14 ¼ w; Frame: 25.5hx19.75w



Still Image Item Type Metadata


Besser worked in many mediums from oils to bronze. He was an instructor for many years at the Famous Artists School in Westport. He was also a World War II veteran and community activist. His wife said “He was as much at home in a peace march as in front of his easel.” Besser was a widely respected artist, printmaker and sculptor who was a former faculty member of the Famous Artist School in Westport and member of the Silvermine Guild. During WWII he was an artist-correspondent in the Pacific. Artists have represented people in portraits for thousands of years, capturing historical figures, the famous and everyday people. Many artists, like Besser, create portraits from direct experience, often incorporating clues in the work to the subject’s identity, status and presence. More recently artists also challenged the notion that art must realistically depict the world and pushed the boundaries of traditional portraiture. By manipulating the subject’s appearance with expressive use of color, non-traditional materials, scale and new techniques, portraits served as avenues for depicting subjective experience and conveying emotional meaning and psychological state rather than physical reality.





Media Details

oil on unstretched mounted canvas, framed

Signature Position

lower right, Signed Besser


Besser, Leonard, “Unidentified Portrait,” Westport Public Schools Digital Collections, accessed August 17, 2022,

Item Relations

This Item dcterms:creator Item: Leonard Besser
This Item dcterms:relation Item: Staples Art Storage