A large, majestic, life-sized, beautiful and captivating portrait hung on your wall, that gives you a glance every time you cross an eye……mesmerizing, isn’t it? Well, portraits have always been one of the most liked forms of painting. Even amongst portraits, family portraits have a separate charm of their own.
But do you know there’s a lot more to a portrait than what meets the eye! Here are 8 interesting facts about portrait painting and best quality reproduction, many of which, we are sure, will take you by surprise!
1. Portrait Painting is Many Centuries Old
Portrait painting, like oil painting and other forms of paintings, is a centuries-old art. Though there is little evidence of the first portrait painting ever created, the art of painting portraits began at least as early as the time of ancient Mediterranean civilizations. Since then, the art form has undergone a sea change in its form and nature over the years and has withstood the test of time as well as the heat of the technology.
2. It Takes Months to Paint a Perfect Portrait
While from the outside, a portrait may seem like any other piece of artwork, it takes months to create a perfect custom portrait. Portrait painting is like constructing a building. You can put layers on it, only when you have built a perfect foundation. The layered approach towards painting portraits takes more than 2 months on average, to get all the nuances, the expressions, the features perfectly right. Well, the wait to get a portrait done is invariably, completely worth it!
3. What’s the Purpose of Painting Portraits?
Portraits, as you know by now, have been there for centuries and ages. However, the purpose of portrait painting has evolved with time. From the point when the purpose of getting a self-portrait or that of a close one, made was to immortalize the person. However, in the present day, portraits are seen more as a means of appreciation and admiration for the person(s) being depicted in it. In recent years, something called as a custom portrait has gained widespread popularity and is much in demand.
4. It’s More Than Just About the Expression
While portraits are meant to bring out the person in the best of his or her facial expressions, but there’s a lot more that is conveyed through each and every portrait. Provided, you have an eye for it! Here we give that away to you! A portrait tells you about the – nature and tendencies of the person, the dressing sense of the person, the posture and the build of the person, and great artists even give you an insight into the mind of the person. Isn’t it, just amazing?
5. The Portrait Painting Process
Portrait painting depicts real people (more often the living, than imaginary), so there has to be a great degree of accuracy and precision in its making. Traditionally, artists relied on live portrait sessions, wherein the person whose painting is being made poses for the artist, for hours altogether. But with oil painting, portrait painting has evolved as well. In modern times, artists rely more on digital technology, mapping, and photography to make surprisingly realistic portraits.
6. A Portrait is Not Essentially of a Single Person
It is a common perception that portrait means the figure of a single person, striking a pose and giving the best of expressions. However, it is not true. Traditionally, there have been family portraits (most prominently royal family portraits), couple portraits and group portraits. There have been portraits depicting a conversation between two people, and even activities. Family tree painting is relevant even today. Therefore, while an individual’s portraits are seen as the most popular ones, family portraits too have a place of their own.
7. Most Famous Portraits of All Time
It is interesting how some of the most famous paintings in the world have been portraits. These include the iconic ‘Mona Lisa’ by Leonardo da Vinci, ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ Johannes Vermeer, as well as the controversial ‘Portrait of Madame X’ by John Singer Sargent. The fact itself indicates the popularity and attraction towards portraits over the years.
8. Portraits Which Hold a Secret!
The history of portrait painting is full of masterpieces where their creators chose to hide a secret message, a figure, or even a portrait of themselves in their creations. The secret of oil painting ‘Mona Lisa’, in which scientists have discovered a microscopic ‘LV’ (initials of Leonardo da Vinci, the creator) written on the left eye of the lady! Similarly, the hidden story of oil painting in the famous portrait Bacchus by Caravaggio, is the artist’s portrait painted inside the glass of vine. Well, Genius is the word!
So these were some of the interesting facts about portrait painting. What transects through your mind after knowing these? Portraits can be extremely interesting, thought-provoking, and at the same time beautiful and mesmerizing to the human mind. There’s nothing better that can grace the best wall of your living room, than one such portrait. Explore some of the best portrait reproductions here.