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ESL forum > Ask for help > The difference between a profile,a portrait and a biography    

The difference between a profile,a portrait and a biography



noura80
Algeria

The difference between a profile,a portrait and a biography
 
Good morning friends,I hope You ´re doing well. What ´s the difference between a person ´s profile,a portait and biography? What are the steps of writing each of them? Thanks in advance!

19 Sep 2018      



cunliffe
United Kingdom

A portrait is a painting of someone and it is full face on (facing forward). It can also be a photo, not a selfie but a carefully staged photo. In art terms, a profile is the person ´s head, facing sideways. A profile is also a basic biographical account, DOB, place of birth, basic work details. A biography is a full account of their life. I ´m not sure whether we use ´portrait ´ in this context, I would expect a portrait to be a picture. 

19 Sep 2018     



noura80
Algeria

Thanks a lot for your replay .I just want to say that I found the term ´portrait ´ used in some documents and it also refers to a piece of writing that includes personal information,appearance,personality,likes, interests ,.....That ´s why I want to know more about it.

19 Sep 2018     



yanogator
United States

Yes, noura80, portrait can be used that way, but it isn ´t very common. The 20th-century American composer Aaron Copland wrote a piece called A Lincoln Portrait, which includes a narration about our 16th president. You can click on the link to hear it, narrated by the famous actor Henry Fonda.
 
Bruce 

20 Sep 2018     



noura80
Algeria

Thanks a lot.An other question about the portrait,is it a narrative or descriptive text? Or it can be both?

20 Sep 2018     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

I didn ´t find any examples such as Bruce ´s. Here is one nearly there, but as you see, Her latest novel paints a very vivid portrait of the aristocracy in the 1920s.
it still conjures up images rather than text. Here, you can see, it is interchangeable with ´picture ´ or ´snapshot ´
If you are going to use ´portrait ´ in this way, then it will be descriptive, rather than narrative. Nothing is set in stone here and the etymology doesn ´t help us, but I would say to most English speakers, ´portrait ´ is a picture or photo, and profile is the narrative about the person. 

20 Sep 2018     



yanogator
United States

As you can see, Lynne ´s example is a metaphorical use of "portrait", even using the word "paints" with it. I said that it isn ´t very common, and Lynne clearly agrees with that. She is definitely right that a verbal portrait, like a visual one, is descriptive. It can include anecdotes about the person, but for the purpose of clarifying the "image" being presented, rather than as story-telling.
 
It would be best to avoid using "portrait" for a verbal description of a person, because of the danger of using it more literally than is reasonable. 
 
Bruce 

20 Sep 2018     



noura80
Algeria

Thanks a bunch friends.You have really helped me.

20 Sep 2018