• $ (USD)
  • Need some help ?

Portrait Painting

Portraiture is one of the most important subjects in painting. The discipline has changed significantly over time and has a fascinating history.

In antiquity, portraits were exclusively reserved for gods and the most influential people in society. Paintings and statues representing the bodies of the deceased were erected to decorate tombs in Egypt. They weren't realistic but rather had a very standardized way of representing each part of the body.

In contrast to the Egyptians, painters and sculptors in Greece, who had a more in depth knowledge of the human anatomy, were more concerned about realism. Many paintings from this period were done on vases and depicted gods and mythological scenes.

In the Middle Ages, most portraits were commissioned and featuring the most important people of the time; they were painted into religious scenes to emphasise their piety and faith, along with their social status. Once these works of art had been painted, they were often donated to churches and monasteries.

The Renaissance marked a renewal for the arts and portraiture was no exception. At the beginning of this period, artists were unconcerned about lifelike, realistic work. Sitters or the subjects represented were identifiable through the use of symbolic objects and the inclusion of their name.

Giotto revolutionized portraiture by imitating sculpture. He began to paint shadows, the subjects' expressions, effects of depth and began to use foreshortening. His knowledge soon began to spread.

Brunelleschi then introduced the idea of perspective in architecture, a concept which Masaccio adapted to painting. Italy became the center of portraiture and the most important Italian families (including the Médici family) commissioned artwork by the best painters. Competition between these painters led them to innovate and led them to produce some of the greatest artworks in history. The most famous is undoubtedly the Mona Lisa by Leonardo de Vinci.

In Northern Europe during the 16th century, Flemish art was restricted by iconoclasm during the Reformation, a period during the depiction of religious figures was banned. Artists turned to courtly art which was particularly popular during the following centuries. A century earlier, Flemish art had marked a turning point with Jan Van Eyck, the inventor of oil painting (the preferred painting technique of all Renaissance painters) and master of detailed realism, who influenced an entire generation of Flemish painters.

Over the following centuries, portraiture continued to be an art form for the elite of society, but painters grew increasingly concerned about depicting realistic figures and communicating the sitter's inner world and emotions. The 20th century saw a growing trend: subjects were not painted to look beautiful (sometimes to their great dismay).

At the end of the 19th century, Impressionist painters became less reliant on sculpted models and sculpture's influence. They left their studios and painted portraits outside, “en plein air." They captured the light as they saw it and painted groups of people together rather than in in several stages.

Modern and contemporary art of the 20th century saw anything go when it came to portraits. Artists like Gustav Klimt, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin and Lucien Freud turned traditional techniques and codified rules on their heads and developed their own unique styles. Discover portraits by Philippe PasquaRobert CombasGuangyu Dai and Erró on Artsper.

Read more

Filters

Saved search

Your search is accessible from the favorites tab > My favorite searches

Unsaved search

A problem occurred

In just a few clicks, tell us your preferences and discover our recommended works for you

Our recommendations Éric Odartey, Ataa Adjoa, Painting

Éric Odartey

Ataa Adjoa, 2022 102 x 77 x 5 cm Painting

$1,561

Our recommendations Jéko, Petite glace, Painting

Jéko

Petite glace, 2022 92 x 73 x 2 cm Painting

$2,289

Patricia Simsa, Le sac à pois, Painting

Patricia Simsa

Le sac à pois, 2022 65 x 50 x 5 cm Painting

$1,717

Jazzu, Treasure, Painting

Jazzu

Treasure, 2022 50 x 50 x 4 cm Painting

$1,249

Hom Nguyen, Racines, Painting

Hom Nguyen

Racines, 2022 180 x 180 x 5 cm Painting

$33,297

Our recommendations AE2, Lili, Painting

AE2

Lili, 2021 116 x 89 x 5 cm Painting

$1,197

Nicolas Benedetti, Sans titre #2, Painting

Nicolas Benedetti

Sans titre #2, 2022 120 x 80 x 2 cm Painting

$1,873

Béatrice Terra, La chance se provoque, Painting

Béatrice Terra

La chance se provoque, 2022 97 x 130 x 2 cm Painting

$3,642

Sounya Whang, Nouveau né d'amour, Painting

Sounya Whang

Nouveau né d'amour, 2022 40 x 30 x 0.1 cm Painting

$1,093

Our recommendations Bruno Antony, Perceptions bleues sur fil de regard, Painting

Bruno Antony

Perceptions bleues sur fil de regard, 2021 100 x 100 x 3 cm Painting

$1,561

Gor Avetisyan, Fragment of invisible intensity III, Painting

Gor Avetisyan

Fragment of invisible intensity III, 2022 50 x 35 cm Painting

$415

Miss.Tic, Je Crois En L’Eternel Féminin, Painting

Miss.Tic

Je Crois En L’Eternel Féminin, 2017 122 x 50 x 3 cm Painting

$26,013

Manuel Santelices, Georgia Sitwell photographed by Cecil Beaton., Painting

Manuel Santelices

Georgia Sitwell photographed by Cecil Beaton., 2022 30.5 x 22.9 x 0.3 cm Painting

$1,200

Adam Norgaard, Festive Night, Painting

Adam Norgaard

Festive Night, 2022 69 x 54 x 0.1 cm Painting

$850

Florence Dussuyer, Romy, Painting

Florence Dussuyer

Romy, 2022 146 x 97 x 2 cm Painting

$4,995

Joseph Piermatteo, Le guitariste, Painting

Joseph Piermatteo

Le guitariste, 2021 40 x 40 x 3 cm Painting

$1,041

Boss, Paolablo, Painting

Boss

Paolablo, 2021 55 x 45 x 2 cm Painting

$1,041

Alice de Miramon, Light - Botanical gardens series, Painting

Alice de Miramon

Light - Botanical gardens series, 2019 26 x 20 cm Painting

$676

Mr. Brainwash, Queen Product, Painting

Mr. Brainwash

Queen Product, 2014 55.9 x 55.9 x 0.1 cm Painting

$7,804

Egle Karpaviciute, Self-portrait, Painting

Egle Karpaviciute

Self-portrait, 2022 40 x 30 x 2 cm Painting

$1,249

Pamela Enyonu, Ajai, Painting

Pamela Enyonu

Ajai, 2022 155 x 125 x 5 cm Painting

$1,561

Karl Kox, Keith I, Painting

Karl Kox

Keith I, 2019 100 x 100 x 5 cm Painting

$1,249

Yoann Merienne, Oxalis, portrait, Painting

Yoann Merienne

Oxalis, portrait, 2022 70 x 50 x 2 cm Painting

$3,642

R. Cavalié, N° 990 A rebours., Painting

R. Cavalié

N° 990 A rebours., 2016 60 x 81 x 2 cm Painting

$832

Madame Lacan, OML1, Painting

Madame Lacan

OML1, 2020 116 x 81 x 2 cm Painting

$1,769

Gago Chtchyan, Glance, Painting

Gago Chtchyan

Glance, 2016 75 x 55 x 2 cm Painting

$926

Rose Marie Willems, Black lace, Painting

Rose Marie Willems

Black lace, 2020 100 x 70 x 2 cm Painting

$1,249

LeFrench, World face, Painting

LeFrench

World face, 2021 100 x 70 x 2 cm Painting

$1,405

Jacek Cyganek, In the forest, Painting

Jacek Cyganek

In the forest, 2022 80 x 100 x 2 cm Painting

$1,665

Pedro Marighella, Templo, Painting

Pedro Marighella

Templo, 2022 70 x 70 cm Painting

$1,821

Our recommendations Aliénor de Montalivet, Sensible Ruin, Painting

Aliénor de Montalivet

Sensible Ruin, 2022 76 x 61 x 4 cm Painting

$1,390

Dima Filatov, Ares, Painting

Dima Filatov

Ares, 2022 120 x 73 x 0.5 cm Painting

$832

Our recommendations Bara Sketchbook, Untitled, Painting

Bara Sketchbook

Untitled, 2022 30 x 30 x 2 cm Painting

$1,561

Marichka Shkuro, Seduction, Painting

Marichka Shkuro

Seduction, 2022 75 x 60 x 1.5 cm Painting

$1,000

Clément Verdière, Ange, Painting

Clément Verdière

Ange, 2022 120 x 100 x 3 cm Painting

$4,578

Liubou Sas, Dangerous pink 2, Painting

Liubou Sas

Dangerous pink 2, 2022 70 x 70 x 2 cm Painting

$1,561 $1,405

Zwy Milshtein, Fée, Painting

Zwy Milshtein

Fée, 1994 39 x 22 cm Painting

$1,873

Irina Pavlenko, Shawl, Painting

Irina Pavlenko

Shawl, 2022 40 x 30 x 1 cm Painting

$1,356

Hope 1393, Olaj.C, Painting

Hope 1393

Olaj.C, 2022 81 x 81 x 2 cm Painting

$4,370

Serghei Ghetiu, At the ballet classes, Painting

Serghei Ghetiu

At the ballet classes, 2022 60 x 50 x 2 cm Painting

$832

Pierre Prèneron, Portrait d'un jeune agriculteur gersinois, Painting

Pierre Prèneron

Portrait d'un jeune agriculteur gersinois, 2022 93.5 x 64 x 1 cm Painting

$1,873

Yulia Belasla, Self portrait, Painting

Yulia Belasla

Self portrait, 2022 70 x 50 x 2 cm Painting

$1,332

Agnes Cecile, Terra Nascente, Painting

Agnes Cecile

Terra Nascente, 2022 65 x 45 x 0.2 cm Painting

$1,540

Stefano Ronchi, A la prima Portrait (Patty Smith), Painting

Stefano Ronchi

A la prima Portrait (Patty Smith), 2020 27 x 20 x 0.2 cm Painting

$916

Josep Tornero, Untitled, Painting

Josep Tornero

Untitled, 2021 24 x 40 cm Painting

$1,385

Olena Smal, Beginning, cycle We Are, Painting

Olena Smal

Beginning, cycle We Are, 2020 80 x 60 x 2 cm Painting

$1,700

Pierre Migot, Chessboard, Painting

Pierre Migot

Chessboard, 2021 80 x 65 x 2.5 cm Painting

$1,145

Nicolas Marvel, Rêve de nuit, Painting

Nicolas Marvel

Rêve de nuit, 2022 100 x 100 x 4 cm Painting

$1,873

Arno Lanzi, Athlétisme 3, Painting

Arno Lanzi

Athlétisme 3, 2022 60 x 60 x 2 cm Painting

$1,457

Laurent Anastay-Ponsolle, Ne faire plus qu'un #2, Painting

Laurent Anastay-Ponsolle

Ne faire plus qu'un #2, 2022 50 x 65 x 0.1 cm Painting

$884

Ilcho Arsenioski, Dyptique David, Painting

Ilcho Arsenioski

Dyptique David, 2022 120 x 80 x 3 cm Painting

$936

Cécile Duchêne-Malissin, Une ombre dans mes souvenirs IV, Painting

Cécile Duchêne-Malissin

Une ombre dans mes souvenirs IV, 2022 92 x 73 x 5 cm Painting

$1,831

Wawapod, Blue Roy, Painting

Wawapod

Blue Roy, 2022 100 x 100 x 2 cm Painting

$936

Our recommendations Ponthep Supunsaleekul, Superman, Painting

Ponthep Supunsaleekul

Superman, 2020 50 x 50 x 4 cm Painting

$832

Wedad Alnasser, Resonant Self, Painting

Wedad Alnasser

Resonant Self, 2022 47 x 40 x 3 cm Painting

$936

Hans Mendler, Sans titre, Painting

Hans Mendler

Sans titre, 2021 38 x 29.5 x 0.1 cm Painting

$333

Charbey, Street composition aléatoire série Pop art, Painting

Charbey

Street composition aléatoire série Pop art, 2021 92 x 73 x 2 cm Painting

$1,145

Brigitte Isaeff (B Luna), Ravel, Painting

Brigitte Isaeff (B Luna)

Ravel, 2022 65 x 46 x 2.5 cm Painting

$989

Ablade Glover, Mother Again, Painting

Ablade Glover

Mother Again, 2014 101.6 x 43.2 cm Painting

$7,804

Georges Darel, L'homme à la moustache, Painting

Georges Darel

L'homme à la moustache, 1921 33 x 41 x 2 cm Painting

$748

René Guinand, Jeune fille à la couture, Painting

René Guinand

Jeune fille à la couture, 1933 35 x 27.5 x 2 cm Painting

$556

Our recommendations Didier Lourenço, Spring afternoon, Painting

Didier Lourenço

Spring afternoon, 2021 120 x 120 cm Painting

$6,920

Gema Goig, Dalle 5, Painting

Gema Goig

Dalle 5, 2015 50 x 50 x 2 cm Painting

$1,457

Marta Fàbregas, Kairos nº15, Painting

Marta Fàbregas

Kairos nº15, 2022 112 x 83 cm Painting

$2,601

Paul Richard Mason, Akhenaton, Painting

Paul Richard Mason

Akhenaton, 2021 40 x 30 x 2 cm Painting

$3,746

Eugène Gilliard, L'homme rouge, Painting

Eugène Gilliard

L'homme rouge, 1910 46 x 35 x 2 cm Painting

$1,058

Trëz, Fragmented Shell II, Painting

Trëz

Fragmented Shell II, 2022 50 x 50 x 0.2 cm Painting

$1,374

Artek, Mandela, Painting

Artek

Mandela, 2022 116 x 89 x 2 cm Painting

$1,795

Our recommendations Nicolas Monjo, Trafic, Painting

Nicolas Monjo

Trafic, 2022 130 x 97 x 2 cm Painting

$2,185

Primal, Clairons de nuit, Painting

Primal

Clairons de nuit, 2021 80 x 60 x 3 cm Painting

$1,249

Tim K., Dalí, Painting

Tim K.

Dalí, 2021 60 x 60 cm Painting

$1,238

Anand Manchiraju, Abstract Expression-1, Painting

Anand Manchiraju

Abstract Expression-1, 2018 71.1 x 55.9 x 0.3 cm Painting

$1,000

Thierry Carrier, Code 2201, Painting

Thierry Carrier

Code 2201, 2022 160 x 130 x 2 cm Painting

$9,365

Discover the styles & movements
  • Discover the selection of our experts

Discover our personalized selection for you

See my personal selection
See my recommendations
Discover our thematic selections