Skip to main content

The Spectatorship of Portraits by Naïve Beholders.

Trawiński, T., Mestry, N., Harland, B., Liversedge, S.P., Godwin, H.J. and Donnelly, N., 2021. The Spectatorship of Portraits by Naïve Beholders. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 15 (1), 3-19.

Full text available as:

The Spectatorship of Portraits by Naïve Beholders_accepted.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


DOI: 10.1037/aca0000248


The spectatorship of portraits by naïve viewers (beholders) was explored in a single experiment. Twenty-five participants rated their liking for 142 portraits painted by Courbet (36 paintings), Fantin-Latour (36 paintings) and Manet (70 paintings) on a 4-point Likert scale. The portraits were classified in terms of focussed versus ambiguous nature of sitter gaze and the presence of salient features in the context beyond sitters. Participants rated portraits while having their eye movements recorded. The portraits were split into regions of interest (ROIs) defined by faces, bodies and context. Participants also completed individual difference measures of attention and task focus. Results showed naïve spectatorship to be subject to attentional capture by faces. Paradoxically, the presence of salient features in the context amplified the attentional capture by faces through increasing participants liking of portraits. Attentional capture by faces was also influenced by sitter gaze and task focus. Unsurprisingly, the spectatorship of portraits by naïve beholders is dominated by faces, but the extent of this dominance is influenced by exogenous and endogenous attentional factors.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:gaze; salient features; portraiture; spectatorship of paintings
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:31895
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:26 Feb 2019 16:42
Last Modified:15 Aug 2021 08:17


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -