What is portrait painting? This can be explained as follows: This kind of painting typically depicts a person's face, from there, the word "portrait" originates. Furthermore, there are many portraits, old and new ones, on which you can see the portraitee's whole body. A portrait is painted with the intention to show all characteristics and features. The painter tries to emphasize these details in a portrait. Upon the portraitee's request, little blemishes and other visible details can be omitted once in a while. They are simply kept "secret" as painters would call it.
Already in ancient times (four thousand years BC) high standing personalities had themselves preserved for posterity. Portrait painting originated in ancient Egypt, as many pictures in the pyramids of deceased show, but only in Greece this genre came to perfection.
However, portrait painting was pushed into the background for a long time (until Renaissance) in favor of sculpture.
The main period of portrait painting only began with the Italian painting of high Renaissance, e. g. by artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raffael and Tizian.
In the following centuries, portrait painting blossomed totally. For example, in the 17th century, Peter Paul Rubens was a contract painter in great demand. The ones who could afford it had themselves preserved for posterity by this painter of Baroque, who was already those days well known.
Today, only a few people can afford an original painting made by an artist's hand. And an original Rubens painting is even more utopia.
With the introduction of photography in the 19th and 20th centuries and the modern communication methods portrait painting changed fundamentally. Since then, also "normal" people, who are striving for a little bit of preservation, and who want to have themselves or their beloved ones painted on a canvas, can have it done at affordable prices.
In today's contract painting, especially portraits of children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents are very popular. In addition to that, depictions of beloved domestic animals, fancy cars or favorite landscapes are widely asked for.
Nowadays, the ones who can afford it, order a portrait painting as an individual birthday present.
Good painters paint these portraits in such a precise way that their similarity with the originals is astonishing and almost have the effect of photos.
Even changes are possible according to individual demands Upon request, small blemishes can be omitted, as we have already mentioned above.
What characterizes a good portrait painter? A portrait painter must be able to paint a person with all his important features. He must be able to depict exactly what is really visible. You cannot simply go and change a portraitee's features, because then the result would no longer be a portrait. In the moment of portrayal, the person who has himself portrayed offers the painter a special depiction of himself with his own details and features. Good painters are able to reach exactly this what has been described above. This characterizes them.
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