A Painter Guide to the History of Portrait

custom family portrait illustration

Portraiture’s history is inextricably linked to what it means to be human. For millennia, the portrayal of a person – or people – has served as political propaganda, shaped religious and social beliefs, and fostered community opinion and imagination.

A person’s portrayal is just as important as who they are. For example, when you think of Alexander the Great, it’s difficult to picture anything other than heroic, lion-like hair and a serene expression reminiscent of Golden Age Greece. Alexander was changed from a leader of men to a demi-god through meticulous artistic rendering and a keen understanding of Hellenistic art history.

In the past, portraits had the ability to influence people’s opinions. The first Roman Emperor, Augustus, flooded his empire with images, turning Rome into a shrine to his likeness and having his likeness appear on coins that circulated all over the Roman Empire.

His ideological stance, with his right finger, modestly pointing to the heavens, his left knee bent in an active, though not aggressive, manner, and the baby Cupid clinging to his right leg, cemented his position as the rightful ruler of what would become the world’s most powerful Empire.

For centuries, custom family portrait illustration has captured not only faces, but also the world, emotion, style, and traditions of the time. A sliver of a moment in time preserved for a lifetime and beyond. Much of history would be impossible to visualize without our rich history of portraiture.

Three different kinds of portrait commissions

There are numerous factors to consider and give consideration to when considering a portrait commission. You’ll be a part of a lengthy and illustrious artistic tradition! In order to provide background on the history of portraiture and education on the possibilities for your very own commission, Painter has created a custom portrait guide.

Portraits for the Purpose of Art

The treatment of human faces and bodies enables artists to figuratively delve into the depths of the human condition, as was mentioned in reference to Frida Khalo’s self-portrait. Here, emotional symbolism is more important than an accurate physical representation.

The use of portraiture as expressive art is said to have started with Rembrandt’s self-portraits, which forced viewers to consider the emotional depths of the pieces in addition to the subject. Francis Bacon’s contorted, stretched human forms create a cerebral angst that elevates portraiture to new artistic heights, and also check this topposttoday.

A figurative portrait is a great way to create an original work of art. While also developing a strong sense of connection to your commission. Consider the feelings and environment you want your painting to capture. When choosing the photo on which your portrait commission will be based.

Whatever your artistic goals are, the Painter team is always eager to talk about them

The style of your painting will also influence how it appears on your wall. An oil painting portrait allows for more dramatic brush strokes. Aallowing our Paintru artists to focus on which details they want to emphasize. A watercolor portrait will be more ethereal, conveying form rather than structural certainty. More information about our painting styles can found here.

Remembered Portraits

There are many occasions in life that merit special remembrance. Even vacations, weddings, anniversaries, and graduations deserve to immortalized in a distinctive manner. Of course, the people in our lives also deserve this special attention, not just the events.

Photographs are a wonderful way to remember family and friends. But transforming the people who mean the most into a one-of-a-kind. Artwork is an honor that both you and they will remember forever.

Some of our favorite Paintru commissions turned special occasions into works of art. Just because this is a more traditional approach to portraiture. Does not preclude you from experimenting with styles and color schemes.

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