Nonverbal Communication

Marie Luise Elisabeth Vigée le Brun: Self-Portrait in a Turban with Her Child (1786)


Eliminating the tilt of the mother’s head toward the child and that of the child toward the viewer in Elisabeth-Louise Vigée le Brun’s self-portrait (left) makes both figures lose their appearance of sweetness and devotion: instead, we gain the impression that mother and child are nervously retreating from the spectator.