At some point in time, portrait became an integral part of funeral services and some were put on gravestones. Funeral portrait had to be realistic and accurate to express the real form of the dead.

In the past, the portrait was a long and overwhelming affair. The model or subject had to sit still and keep the same facial expression for so many hours while the artist painted or drew them. It is sometimes annoying and relatively boring. The task was evenly tiring for the artists who sometimes need to deal with fidgety and fussy clients. Now, the process is a little bit easier and simpler as portraits could be done by utilizing a camera and the whole process takes only a second.

Portrait Overview

A portrait is a photograph, picture, drawing or sculpture of a person which concentrates on the face. Other parts of the body might be included, but the facial expression is the most principal aspect of this kind of art. Portrait reflects what an individual is like and you could tell a lot about a person through analyzing their photograph. It could provide you with insight into their characteristics, stature as well as their culture and background. A portrait could also express the mood and the emotional state of the subject. It symbolizes the subject in a permanent position, not moving and looking directly at the artists. The outcome is that those seeing the portrait feel like the photograph is staring back at them. This augments the connection with the viewer and makes it simple to see the subject’s human characteristics and qualities.

History of Portrait

When you think of a portrait, you think of a flattering picture of a person wearing superb clothes and looking remarkably fabulous. Normally, they purchase new outfits, go to a barber shop or salon and get specialized treatment in preparation for having their portrait taken. The notion is that this portrait will be seen forever, so you do not want others to remember you in a bad light.

It has not always been that way. In earlier cultures, the portrait was assumed to be a real representation and the subject persisted that he or she is as harsh and genuine as possible, although the portrait ended up being ugly or unattractive. Subjects requested that their portrait be as real as humanly possible. This ideal was firmly advocated during the Roman and Ancient Greek period’s histories.

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Later on, ideal portraits became further common. The fashion started when an ordinary individual was requested to pose for statues and painting representing Greek Gods. Normally, the art was posed by vague unknown models and bare statues were based on people of dubious social standing as the upper echelons of the community could not pose while naked. As the art started to be exposed and well-liked, ordinary subjects wanted to be portrayed in a gorgeous and ideal way, aside from the fact that they liked to keep their dress on.

2D Artwork

Full face views, profile view as well as 3-quarter view are the common titles of portraits and each designation refers to a specific direction of the head of the depicted individual. Such terms will be inclined to have better applicability to 2D artwork like painting and photography compared to the 3D artwork like sculpture. The 3D artwork the viewer could normally change their course to the artwork through moving it around.

Self Portraiture

If the artist makes a representation of herself or himself, this is what you call a self-portrait. Certain examples become plentiful in the late Mid-Ages, but the original was by the Akhenaten's sculptor Bak who engraved a portrait of himself as well as his wife Taheri in 1365 BC. On the other hand, it is possible that self-portraits revert to the cave painting, the earliest portrayal art and records many classical and unique examples which are now lost.

The Portrait Photography

Portrait photography refers to picturing the subject wherein the facial expressions are an important feature. On this kind of photography, a photographer could also take the image of the number of subjects as a group portrait. The main objective of this kind of photography is to concentrate on the face of the subjects. This concentrates on the mood of the person and the photographer shows this frame of mind of the subject. In a representation, the subject frequently faces the camera straight. These pictures are majorly utilized for personal purposes. Some are utilized for publicity and promotional exhibition.

The History of Portrait Photography

This kind of photography was developed in the mid-19 century. It was introduced by the expert photographers the time the camera became popular. On the other hand, this time this kind of portrait has its personal technical challenges and dispute to face. Over the decades, the development of the camera as well as the technology brought massive development in this form of photography.

The tool became more highly developed and customized producing superb and high quality photographs. Afterward, the green screen tools were also introduced which added further visual effects to the shooting also known as chroma key effects, which changed the backdrop of the subject.


The portrait has taken on a political value as well. A lot of nations have a regulation that insists on the leader portrait being present in business establishments and prominent areas. Other places have pictures of religious leaders like the Pope as a sign of religious authority or faith.

Many people visit the photography studio to have family pictures taken. Specialized portraits are also popular for key events like graduations, weddings and anniversaries where the concentration is on the subject’s happiness.


The word portrait in literature refers to the written meaning of a thing or a person. A written picture or portrait frequently provides a deep meaning and offers an analysis which goes far above the superficial. For instance, Patricia Cornwell, an American author, wrote a book entitled Portrait of a Killer. It is about the background, personality as well as possible motivations of the popular Jack the Ripper and the media exposure of his killings and the succeeding search of his felonies.