© Jitka Hanzlová, 2022
The fundamental elements of the genre of portraiture were cemented during the Renaissance by the hand of masters such as Leonardo da Vinci. European pictorial tradition continued in search of human representation with artists who revealed their mastery throughout history, such as Velázquez, Rembrandt, Ingres, and Francis Bacon. Photography incorporated portraiture from the onset. With Nadar himself at the helm, the medium boasts artists whose portraits have driven the evolution of the genre.
The series There is Something I Don’t Know demonstrates Jitka Hanzlová’s interest in this discipline and particularly in the central European tradition. As in Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci, her models posed in a three-quarter-profile view before a dark background. In this series, which she carried out from 2000 to 2012, the photographer sought a timeless representation of the individual through establishing a relationship between her models and the tradition of portraiture in art history. The last portion of this series was commissioned by Fundación MAPFRE on the occasion of the 2012 retrospective exhibition dedicated to the artist’s work.