A portrait is defined as a depiction of a particular individual. The traditions of European portraiture extend back to antiquity in early Rome and Greece. The earliest Renaissance portraits were not individual paintings, but rather inclusions in pictures of Christian subjects. By the fifteenth century in Italy for example, important men and women realized that a likeness could function as a means of announcing one's piety, power, or virtue. During the Baroque era, artists such as Frans Hals showed sitters sometimes looking out at the viewer with a mix of emotions which highlighted their status and personalities. By the time of the Rococo, subjects were often depicted as elegant, graceful, slender and tall in peaceful and natural settings. Exploring the evolution of portrait painting from the 15th-18th centuries will be the subject of this docent-led talk.
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