Portrait Paintings - A Brief History

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On observing some of the portrait paintings kept for display in museums, we can infer only one thing. These paintings were created in prehistoric times. This leads us to believe that the art of portrayers were famous even in those historic times. Without these portraits, we might not be able to know what Socrates might look like. Also, these paintings are said to portray more than just the image of the subject. They include lots of other details including the importance of the picture and so on.

Most of these paintings were destroyed due to the passage of time. But a few still remain. It is from these portrait paintings that we got a lot of information about the history of human civilization and tradition. Most of these paintings were used to depict dead people. This is because, in those ancient days, some people even believed that portraying a human could shorten his lifespan. Portraying a human can give a realistic look. This is the most important advantage that it has over sculpted picture. This advantage was well known during the ancient ages itself. That is why most of the emperors preferred portrayers rather than sculptors to depict their image.

With the passage of time, these portrait paintings started to vanish. The reason for this is the cost of portrayal. But with the many advantages that they offer, these paintings can never be cast aside. Due to the cost factor, a portrait painting could only be afforded by rich people. These types of paintings are referred to as donor portraits. The art of portrayal has been passed on for generations and had undergone much advancement. As of today, we can find different kinds of portrait paintings. The cost factor has reduced a lot and this means that even common people can afford it now.

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