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Portrait Drawing

Portraiture has existed for many centuries. The Greeks produced portraits for funeral and religious rituals; they aimed to “bring back to life those who have passed away." In the Roman era, portraits were often reserved for the ruling figures of society; for example, a warrior would have his portrait painted to illustrate his bravery during a battle. In Europe, it is only during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance that Italian and Flemish painters started to practice the art of portraiture.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, painters created works commissioned by wealthy patrons. Painters sketched out preliminary freehand drawings, which were often then approved by the patron, before beginning to work on their oil paint or, later, watercolor. Facial features were sometimes improved to the detriment of realism, although some painters were known for their ability to reproduce their models' expressions. Some artists worked in great detail while others focussed more heavily on trying to capture the real personality of their model.

For much of its history, portrait not only told a story but it also conveyed a message of power, promoting a well-controlled image to the wider population and establishing the sitter's authority through its circulation. For example, Florentine elites would use paintings and drawings as a mean of controlling their image and establishing their authority. Portraits were a way for someone to live on long after their death. Today we find the faces of aristocracies and the European bourgeoisie in many museums, immortalized by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci or Rembrandt.

The results obtained through drawing depended largely on the tools and materials used. Red chalk was very popular (especially at the beginning of the 16th century) to represent the facial features and the warmth of the skin, while charcoal produced harder lines and pastel created a softer, colorful touch. Artists adapted their technique depending on the subject and the emotion they wanted to convey. The commercialisation of pencils in the nineteenth century made it a popular medium for artists and amateurs alike. Pencil art became more popular and the tool was often used for sketching portraits.

One thing is certain; capturing facial expressions is a demanding art form and the art of portraiture requires a lot of practice. Drawing a face down to its finest details may take hours to obtain the desired result: a protruding jaw, the shape of a skull, thick brows, smiling eyes, dilated pupils… Even more difficult, are children's portraits? It can be difficult to get them to stay still for long. The artist has to be skilled enough to immortalise these men, women and children full of life.

Gradually, sketched portraits became less and less realistic but increasingly daring and experimental in terms of colour. On Artsper, discover drawings by Jean Cocteau, Julien Calot, Alice de Miramon, Philippe Pasqua, Sabine Danzé, Bahareh Navabi and Stéphanie Stindel.

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facet,8259*Nuestras recomendaciones|icon-recommendations*nuestras-recomendaciones price,500 price,5001:10000 facet,10497*Obras de artistas famosos|icon-masterpieces*obras-de-artistas-famosos facet,10497*Werke berühmter Künstler|icon-masterpieces*werke-beruhmter-kunstler facet,10497*Oeuvres d'artistes célèbres|icon-masterpieces*artistes-celebres facet,10497*Artworks by famous artists|icon-masterpieces*masterpieces facet,1629*Abstract*abstract facet,1629*Abstraite*abstraite facet,1629*abstrakt*abstrakt facet,1629*abstracto*abstracto facet,11991*​Master Artists|icon-masterartists*masterartists facet,11991*Maestros artistas|icon-masterartists*maestros-artistas facet,11991*Große Meister|icon-masterartists*grosse-meister facet,11991*Grands Maitres|icon-masterartists*grands-maitres facet,1635*Street art*street-art facet,1635*Straßenkunst*street-art facet,1635*arte callejero*arte-callejero facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)|medium*moyen facet,11997*Nouveaux artistes à découvrir|icon-new-remarquable-artists*nouveaux-artistes-a-decouvrir facet,11997*Artistas nuevos y destacados|icon-new-remarquable-artists*artistas-nuevos-y-destacados facet,11997*​New \u0026 remarkable Artists|icon-new-remarquable-artists*new-remarquable-artists facet,11997*Neue bemerkenswerte Künstler|icon-new-remarquable-artists*neue-bemerkenswerte-kunstler category,5*Escultura*escultura category,5*Skulpturen*skulptur category,5*Sculpture*sculpture facet,8277*Grand (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)|large*grand facet,1686*Pop Art*pop-art facet,1686*Pop-Art*pop-art facet,1686*Arte pop*arte-pop category,9*Photography*photography category,9*Photographie*photographie category,9*Fotografien*fotografie category,9*Fotografía*fotografia facet,1671*Paysage*nature facet,1671*Natur*natur facet,1671*Landscape*nature facet,1671*Naturaleza*naturaleza facet,8277*Large (\u003c 80 x 80 inch)|large*large facet,8277*Large (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)|large*large facet,1644*Portrait*portrait facet,1644*Porträt*portrat facet,1644*Retrato*retrato category,23*Fine Art Drawings*drawing category,23*Zeichnungen*zeichnung category,23*Dessin*dessin category,23*Dibujo*dibujo facet,1641*Nus*nus facet,1641*Nude*nude facet,1641*Akt*akte facet,1641*desnudos*desnudos facet,11697*Figurativ*figurativ facet,11697*Figurative*figurative facet,11697*Figuratif*figuratif facet,11697*Figurativo*figurativo category,15*Drucke*editionen category,15*Print*print category,15*Edition*edition category,15*Edición*edicion facet,8301*Oeuvres en promotion|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Special offers|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Special Offers|icon-promotions*vergunstigte-werke facet,8301*Trabajos en promoción|icon-promotions*trabajos-en-promocion facet,8274*Medium (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)|medium*medium facet,8274*Medium (\u003c 45 x 45 inch)|medium*medium facet,1830*Landschaft|landscape*orientation-landschaft facet,1830*Paysage|landscape*orientation-paysage facet,1830*Landscape|landscape*orientation-landscape facet,1830*Paisaje|landscape*orientation-paisaje facet,8280*Très grand (\u003e 200 x 200 cm)|very-large*tres-grand facet,8280*Très grand (\u003e 80 x 80 inch)|very-large*tres-grand facet,1674*Scène de vie*scene-de-vie facet,1674*Everyday life*everyday-life facet,1674*Alltagsszenen*alltagsszenen facet,1674*Escena de la vida*escena-de-la-vida facet,1827*Portrait|portrait*orientation-portrait facet,1827*Hochformat|portrait*orientation-portrat facet,1827*Retrato|portrait*orientation-retrato facet,1680*Animal*animal facet,1680*Animaux*animaux facet,1680*Tiere*tiere facet,1680*Animales*animales facet,8271*Petit (\u003c 50 x 50 cm)|small*petit price,1000:501 price,50001 facet,1668*Noir et blanc*noir-et-blanc facet,1668*Black and white*black-and-white facet,1668*Schwarz und weiß*schwarz-und-weiss facet,1668*Blanco y negro*blanco-y-negro facet,1659*Floral*floral facet,1659*Flore*flore facet,1659*Flores*flores facet,1659*Flora*flora facet,11634*Pop Culture Street Artists*pop-culture-street-artists facet,11634*Pop culture Street-artistes*pop-culture-street-artistes facet,11634*Popkultur Straßenkünstler*popkultur-strassenkunstler facet,11634*Cultura pop Street-artistas*cultura-pop-street-artistas facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 80 x 80 inch)|very-large*very-large facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 200 x 200 cm)|very-large*very-large facet,1632*Architecture*architecture facet,1632*Die Architektur*die-architektur facet,1632*Arquitectura*arquitectura facet,1650*Urban Landscape*urban-landscape facet,1650*Paysage urbain*paysage-urbain facet,1650*Paisaje urbano*paisaje-urbano facet,1650*Städtische Landschaft*stadtische-landschaft facet,126*Acryl-*acryl facet,126*acrylic*acrylic facet,126*acrylique*acrylique facet,126*acrílico*acrilico facet,1692*Géométrique*geometrique facet,1692*Geometric*geometric facet,1692*Geometrisch*geometrisch facet,1692*Geometría*geometria price,25001:50000
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