The History Of Portraiture

773 Words4 Pages
Throughout history, people have always shown a fascination with faces and therefore portrait representation. The depiction of an individual likeness is about identification but is also a record of an interaction between an artist and model. Portraits are constructions of identity that serve a range of functions such as expressing power and declaring status. Whether for reasons of vanity or record keeping the genre of portraiture has continued to grow in popularity since the beginning of time, but our motivations for creating these portraits as well as style of execution have transformed immensely. At the beginning of portraiture, the common subject was of higher class who had been deemed important enough to be commemorated. Paintings were…show more content…
Portrait was used to remember the important people in society at the time. Without portraiture we would have little to no idea what some of the most revolutionary people in the history of the world looked like. Portraiture has given modern society a look at what life was like during times we have not been around in. At the time, portraiture was not used for this but to commemorate the rich and the powerful. The beginning of portraiture was in ancient civilizations when the gods were present in the everyday lives of the Greeks. The gods were idolized and they shared the same form as normal human beings even though they possessed powers. The urge to represent gods and goddesses led to a trend in all of…show more content…
Portraiture was art for Gods, Emperors, Kings, Popes. It was a public art designed to decorate public areas and reflect the morals and religious values of the day. Roman portraiture was based on practical political necessity. Portrait busts of emperors, such as Julius Caesar were sculpted to display and celebrate Roman power. During the middle ages, portraiture became private and remained on the insides of churches and monasteries. During realism, portraiture was not compatible with true-life pictures but instead the spiritual and human characteristics of a figure represented by symbolic motifs. The Italian Renaissance was dominated by work commissioned for cathedrals, churches and chapels. In the Baroque period, art was used as a propaganda weapon and again many religious paintings were commissioned. Portraiture expanded in the 18th and 19th centuries. By the 20th century, there was little interest shown in hierarchy of genres and started representing reality in an era of war. After expressionist portraits, advances in photography, film and video, classical portraiture seemed like little value. Today the common portraiture is the “selfie”. Self portraits were very common in art history and artistic liberations were used. Some self portraits were very realistic and detailed, while some were very artistic and aimed to caption the inner persona instead of their physical attributes. Selfies today are
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