Evolution of the musical portraits by Francis Pulenc: narrative and visualisation


  • Iryna Vezhnevets R. Glier Kyiv Institute of Music




Francis Pulenc, avant-garde, psychologism, musical portrait, narrative, visuality.


The article reveals several aspects of the evolution of the musical portraits in by Francis Pulenc the French composer from the early 20th century. Following the avant-garde movement’s development, the works produced in this genre became more intimate and dramatic. This led to the the genre of psychological portraits emergence. In order to explore the genre of musical portrait based on the example of Pulenc’s cycle the author applied the narrative, evolutional and structural methods. For the first time in academic tradition, the author highlights the deep psychologism of the musical portraits created by Francis Pulenc. Additionallly, the ties between the Francis Pulenc’s music and the verses of Paul Eluard are stressed. It is demontrated that Pulenc was deeply influenced by the avant-garde paintings, which contributed to his cycle of musical portraits. The author concludes that the synthesis of arts creates the perception of diversity and development of the artistic idea. This enhances greatly the music’s emotional impact. Specifically this process confirms the general need in communicative inter-art connections that provide another dimension for the musical portrait genre, and shift the point of view on the art object. The overview of the musical portrait genre in the Pulenc’s oeuvre opens up the discussion about the language of music as an important social and cultural force. One can state that the Pulenc’s cycle “Le Travail du Peintre” has an interdisciplinary, synthetic character. In addition, the cycle combines features of surrealism and cubism. While working on the musical portraits, F. Pulenc developed his own unique interpretation of the genre. He offers a new philosophy and an insight into one’s psychology.




How to Cite

Vezhnevets І. (2021). Evolution of the musical portraits by Francis Pulenc: narrative and visualisation. TEXT AND IMAGE: ESSENTIAL PROBLEMS IN ART HISTORY, 1(3). https://doi.org/10.17721/2519-4801.2017.1.02