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Visual Analysis of Mahatma Gandhi’s Portrait


The chosen object is a portrait that shows the image of Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi was an Indian leader who inspired generations from across the world. He was instrumental during the independence of India when he led movements for Civil rights and freedoms. His approach of activists was non-violent, and this trait has attracted admiration from across the globe. The portrait is a decoration in the house as well as a source of inspiration from one of the world’s iconic leaders. It is a golden portrait with a glass covering the picture of Gandhi. It is rectangular shaped with four sides. Its dimensions are approximately 60cm by 45cm. It is sizeable and easily noticeable by visitors visiting the house.

The Mahatma Gandhi portrait was made in New Delhi in India by an Indian artist called Kumar Khan. The design is very artistic and is made to beautify the house walls as well as inspire persons who view it daily. The gift was a gift from my parents. The gift was given to serve as an inspiration at a time my performance in school was improving.

The portrait made of wood, shaped with some artistic designs engraved on it. The portrait is golden in color that makes it beautiful and easily noticeable by persons visiting the house. The image of Mahatma Gandhi is an artistic drawing that corresponds to how Mahatma looked. The pencil-drawn picture corresponds to the images of Mahatma on a real picture.

The image of Mahatma Gandhi has several noticeable features that identify him. One of this the spectacles he wore during his days which are almost circular in Shape. The hero had beards above the mouth but on the lower side on the sheen he had no beards. Another feature is the type of cloth he is shown wearing in the portrait. It is a white cloth mostly worn by the people of India. People familiar with his appearance, whether it is on Newspapers, TV, art books or even in history books would ultimately identify him. The artist of the Picture, Kumar Khan, was very accurate in designing the portrait since every part of the portrait corresponds to the real picture of Mahatma Gandhi.

Formal analysis

The portrait of Mahatma Gandhi is rectangular in shape, and the size is large enough to dominate over other portraits on the house walls. The image of Mahatma is a black and white since it is hand drawn and not a printed picture. It is most likely drawn using a pencil or grayish water marker. The portrait has a crystal clear glass cover on top of the image. This is intended to preserve the image from being tampered. Below the image at the right side, there is a signature that is probably that of the designer of the portrait. However, it is small sized, and you are not likely to notice it from a distance.The outside frame covering the image is wooden which gives it a formal outlook in the house. The wood is probably themahogany type of wood that is made to last for long without rotting. The portrait is 4-years old, and its frame is still intact. The wooden has some artistic engraving on it to make it attractive. The engravings are flower shaped and design to add a lively feature on to the portrait. The wooden frame is painted in ayellow color to add atouch to the house. The texture of the wooden frame is rough due to the engravings on it and the artistic never gave it a smooth finish on the parts that have no engravings.

The portrait was a gift for improved academic performance. It serves various purposes while hanging on the house walls. The value attached to the portrait is that of a global hero whose selfless activism led to the Indian Independence. He is a global figure whose approach to the colonizers was non-violent. Unlike in other countries in the World where independence was characterized by violence, Mahatma ensured that his approach is non-violent. His friendly approach to independence made him have enemies who felt that what he was doing was wrong. Not everyone appreciated what he did and as a result assassinated.

The portrait serves to motivate, inspire and encourage persons who view his image. As a gift from parents, it serves to encourage me to continue pursuing academic excellence. Mahatma was a trained lawyer and his activism never deterred him to pursue academic excellence. His portrait also inspires people globally to live a life like that of Mahatma Gandhi. He is a source of inspiration to young children, parent, formal and informal leaders as well as young politicians who want to be like him.

Category of the Visual Arts

The portrait belongs to the category of artistic designs as well as the Drawings category. Artistic designs involve creating an object according to a set of esthetics. The drawings category involve a complete work or preparatory sketching of a painting or sculpture. Drawing involves theuse of charcoal, chalk, pastel, pen and ink or pencil to put down an art.

The portrait is in the drawings category.The picture of Mahatma Gandhi in the portrait is hand drawn using a pencil. The artist, Kumar Khan, put down his drawing on paper and then modified it using a frame to make it attractive as a portrait. It also belongs to the artistic category because the artist has incorporated various skills to make it attractive. One of these is the engravings on the wooden frame that is meant to enhance its appearance. Putting such engravings on a piece of wood requires some artistic skill since not anyone can model a flower sketch on a piece of wood and still give the attractive appearance.

Tactics and strategies

            The portrait shows different results by applying different visual strategies. The general visual appearance is attractive to view. The glass covering over the image images makes it attractive to see and feel. The dullness of the frame is lit up by the shiny glass covering which, is you tilt the portrait a bit is shiny and bright. Though this brightness disappears if you look at it carefully at a closer direct view.

            The portrait shows different appearances in different lighting conditions. In daylight, the portrait is attractive and pleasing to look at especially due to the golden yellow wooden frame, as well as the glass covering. The glass enables you to see a clear and full view of Mahatma Gandhi portrait as if it is a real picture. From a distance, you will visualize Mahatma Gandhi’s image that is bright and appealing.

            Viewing the portrait in a dark room gives a different view. Where the room is fully dark with no sign of lighting, the glass covering on the portrait is reflective though the wooden frame is noticeable. In this condition, the image of Gandhi is not noticeable. However, by introducing a bit of lighting such a window lighting, the view is a bit clear. The wooden frame is visible, but the golden yellow color appears darkish or grayish. The image is a bit dull, and only the central part is visible. The image of Mahatma appears hidden from the edges, but the spectacles are visible if you face it directly. Also noticeable is the portrait shadow that appears on the side facing away from the light. The shadow is not too much enhanced and only reflects a small portion of the real portrait.

            In dark and bright conditions, the portrait still maintains the attractive appearance. It is more appealing and attractive to persons who are passionate about beautiful portraits. In thebright glare of light, the image of Mahatma Gandhi shows a relaxed and composed person. It shows the true character of him from what we hear and read in history books about the international icon. He also appears as a non-violent person just as historian describe him.

            The back side of the portrait is sealed. The designer of the portrait put a wooden covering on the back side of the portrait. The wooden covering is held intact by small pins on all four corners of the portrait. The idea ofselling the backside was to avoid tampering with the image. If not well covered, then small kids driven by curiosity would want to get hold of the Icons image.

Image Styles

The portrait is naturalistic in its design. The artist of the portrait gave it a natural outlook after settling on a wooden portrait. The golden color also adds glamor to the image appearance. It makes it attractive and lively and easy to draw attention to curious onlookers. The flower engravings also add more beauty to its appearance and also adds to its natural outlook.

The engravings on the wooden frame also indicate a sense of idealism. A flower indicates thenature and a glowing weak effect. Flowers are usually symbolic in times of happiness or love. Flowers also indicate a sense of compassion and care among different types of people. The choice of flower engravings is symbolic of the person shown in the portrait. Mahatma Gandhi was very energetic and showed love to the less fortunate. By choosing a non-violent approach to activism, he displayed love and care for Indians(Copeman, 2013). Therefore, the flower engraves symbolize the virtues of Mahatma.

You and the Object

            My interaction with the Mahatma Gandhi portrait has influenced my perception of life and my character. The personality of Gandhi is one which people try to associate with and draw inspiration. His non-violent approach, compassion and love for his people, are some of the virtues drawn from the image.

            Viewing the image of the icon also draws different emotions. Mahatma was a good person who was loved by many and served as inspirations to the young and old generation. However, despite his good character, he still made enemies who also took away his life through an assassination. He would have achievement more if he lived for a longer time.

            Mahatma portrait also inspires one to achieve success. The portrait was a gift for improved academic performance. As a result, it has triggered the need for self-actualization which the highest in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This need, combined with social motives have influenced the desire to achieve more in tertiary education.

            The object chosen has influenced my general outlook on life. By looking at the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, there is a general motivation to work hard to achieve academic excellence. In addition, it inspires one to practice the virtues of non-violence, love and care that Mahatma practiced.

            The Mahatma portrait has contributed greatly in challenging my beliefs and values on life as well as improve my relations with people. The non-violent approach to friends and foes is a virtue people should learn in thewake of recent uprisings in most countries in the world. It has motivated me to increase my knowledge by reading more on his life and times.


            The maker’s intent is clear from the experience I have had with the portrait. By choosing the portrait of Mahatma and the natural outlook, his main aim is to inspire generations and people looking forward to becoming politicians. It has inspired me to pursue academic excellent and show love and care to people.

            The quality of the portrait is an A-class. The artist, Kumar Khan, gave his best in designing the portrait from the image to the frame. The image is hand drawn and is similar to the face of Mahatma as shown in a real picture. In addition, the wooden and flower engravings add beauty to the portrait.

            In conclusion, the portrait has served its purpose in inspiring people to live the life of Mahatma Gandhi. In addition to making the house attractive and lively, the portrait is rich with inspiration and encouragement to face life. It is a motivation to work hard in school. Every time I look at the image, it challenges me to have a positive outlook onlife, as well as face challenged with vigor.

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