humanity's many faces
One of the most popular forms of representation, portraiture can trace its origins at least to ancient Egypt, nearly 5,000 years ago. With the advent of modern photography, recording the appearance of another human being, or oneself, has become easy and accessible.
However, portraits do more than just record or represent appearances. They have historically also been used “to show the power, importance, virtue, beauty, wealth, taste, learning or other qualities of the sitter.” (https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/p/portrait, 2021) Conventionally, portraits are flattering representations of their subjects, though more truthful portraits, such as those of the Spanish royal family by Francisco Goya, have also been welcomed. Modern art saw the introduction of photography, a medium that would come to define the idea of portraiture. Nonetheless, painted and drawn portraiture persist in both the realist and expressionist genres.
The works below represent not only humanity's diversity, but also diversity in perception. See the many ways we perceive and represent the human form, in composition and in color.