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Portraits

The earliest portraiture dates back 5000 years, to around Ancient Egypt at the least. As well as a way of documenting someones appearance, portraits have been a way to express power, influence, wealth, beauty as well as an opportunity for the painter to provide the most flattering portrait of the sitter. More often than not, unfavourable paintings of the subject were dismissed.

Portraits are an important part of art history because they depict an insightful part of history during a time when photography may not have been available. The position, expression and style of the portrait is just as revealing as the location of the portrait and the surroundings of the subject. This can certainly add context to a historical context and provide deeper understanding of the cultures and zeitgeist of the time.

Modern portraiture often portrays friends, lovers of relatives of the artist and commissions have become further and far between. Moreover, photographic portraits have provided a new medium with a different perspective and an access to portraiture previously reserved for the luxury market.


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The earliest portraiture dates back 5000 years, to around Ancient Egypt at the least. As well as a way of documenting someones appearance, portraits have been a way to express power, influence, wealth, beauty as well as an opportunity for the painter to provide the most flattering portrait of the sitter. More often than not, unfavourable paintings of the subject were dismissed.

Portraits are an important part of art history because they depict an insightful part of history during a time when photography may not have been available. The position, expression and style of the portrait is just as revealing as the location of the portrait and the surroundings of the subject. This can certainly add context to a historical context and provide deeper understanding of the cultures and zeitgeist of the time.

Modern portraiture often portrays friends, lovers of relatives of the artist and commissions have become further and far between. Moreover, photographic portraits have provided a new medium with a different perspective and an access to portraiture previously reserved for the luxury market.