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Brief Art History of Portraits

Discussing brief history of portraits from where they begin and to the now.

Lauren Heuer

on 1 November 2012

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Transcript of Brief Art History of Portraits

Beginning of time to Now Art History of Portraits Ancient Egyptian Ancient Greece The Romans Mid to Late
18th Century The Renaissance 19th and Early 20th
Century 20th Century •Portraits have been around since the beginning of time as a means to describe not only physical features but more importantly power and status.

•Testaments of portraiture as a genre can be seen as early as Ancient Egyptian wall paintings of gods and pharaohs. Ancient Greeks also had fascination with portraiture, mostly in its sculpted form, representing both gods and real people (who through art were elevated to the status of a deity). •Romans followed a similar tradition borrowing motifs from Ancient Egypt and Greece and developing a flair for portrait busts of key power personalities.
•Ancient Greek and Romans were also the ones who started the tradition of depicting figureheads on coins.
During the Middles age’s portraiture declined and was strictly confined to donor portraits. •The Renaissance saw the re-invention of portraiture in its modern sense and is a critical moment in the history of it's kind. •Predominately portraying royals, nobles, and religious figures, Renaissance portraits concentrated on the status and personality of the person being painted through the depiction of objects of characterization (such as a globe for a well-traveled person. •In Britain the early to mid 18th century saw the rise of artists such as Sir Joshua Reynolds with historical portraiture, while later on in the 1800s
Pre-Raphaelites became the dominant force.
Symbolism was massively used more then before. •The 19th and early 20th century is characterized by a multiplicity of art movements from the pre- realism, to impressionism, to cubism. •Portraits during these times opened up to include the bourgeoisie and many times to include the immediate circle of artists, as well as nameless models •In the mid 20th century pop art developed a fascination for celebrity portraits, with Andy Warhol as its master, which has continued to the present day.
•From the ‘60s onwards photography takes over portraiture by storm, due to its immediacy, developing many different trends. Zeus, God of all Gods Julius Caesar Head Bust Caesar Coins Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve (‘The Ambassadors’) (1533) Globe Take the Fair Face of Woman,
Sophie Gengembre Anderson Symbols of beauty Butterflies Fair Skin Portrait of Jean Monet in 1880
by Claude Monet Impressionism Self-Portrait of Pablo Picasso Cubism Marilyn Monroe; silk-screen
Andy Warhol Self-Portrait,
Cindy Serman Mother,
David Hockney 21st Century •The 21st century is yet to be defined by a style of portraiture, it is said that contemporary portraits will be defined by new media; much in the same way that the art world is developing. Some people believe that the potential for utmost creativity and excellence resides in illustration and design, which is neither a saturated field nor one that’s been defined and perfected by old masters. Brief
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