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  • Writer's pictureVishakha

Beyond Faces - Significance and Importance of Portrait Artworks

The history of portrait artworks dates back to 5000 years and beyond. Long before photographs were invented, portraits were the only way to immortalize the face of any person. People got their appearances painted, sculpted, and even drawn, never to be forgotten with time. The genre of art holds immense significance and value both as a keeper of history and the artistic skills it demands. Read the blog to know what makes it such an important part of art and culture that it has become irreplaceable. 


Portrait artwork of a self-portrait with a portrait on easel

What Makes Portrait Artworks Irreplaceable?

While every genre of art serves its own purpose, portraits especially hold essential values for mankind. As an art gallery, TERAVARNA has always understood the need for portrait artworks and we have constantly been supporting such artists with our various initiatives including different art competitions and exhibitions.  Now, here are some of our top reasons to throw light on its significance. 

1. It’s a Silent Introduction to the Subject

Portrait artworks are not just strokes of brush or finesse of the fingers, they are the stories of the subject. An honestly depicted portrait can convey a lot more than just the face of a person. They are the visual biographies of the person — their expressions, clothes, location, and total appearance can make you feel like you are meeting the subject in real life instead of just through an artwork. 

2. A Memory Lane to the Past

If you think of it that way, a portrait is not limited to expressing the subject. It is a tale from different time periods and everything in portrait artworks reveals that. By looking at those paintings, you can get a gist of how people behaved in those times, their culture, attire, objects they used and so much more. It is a window to a different world and a timeless one nonetheless. Generations to come can peek in through those window frames to get a glimpse of life in their respective periods. 

3. Depict Important Figures

The most common use of portrait artworks throughout history and even now is to immortalize significant figures. Kings, queens, businessmen, ministers, and many others who could afford the services of a portrait artist have offered commission works for their portraits. It wasn’t uncommon to invite artists to the royal courts to paint the royalties so that they could live forever on the walls of a palatial building. These portrait artworks have now become our source of knowledge in identifying many important personalities from history. However, with changing times and evolving technology portraiture can fulfill several other purposes like marketing, branding, or simply just for personal pleasure. 

4. Reflection of the Skills of the Artist

A good portrait artist knows how much to capture and what to capture when creating portrait artwork. An accurately-created portrait is a reflection of the skills an artist possesses. Take a look at famous works from artists like Da Vinci and Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn — they are enough to speak about their skills. These artists have intricately managed to capture the essence of their subjects. However, some of them conducted thorough studies and went as far as to dissect corpses to understand human anatomy. 

Portrait Artworks are a Blend of Biography, History and Expressions

In history, portraits reflected the power, influence, and riches a person held. It also acted as a mirror to different beliefs the society held, the perspective of the artists, and the lifestyle of the subject. While in some cases, they cannot be the ultimate proof or record to conjoin different pieces of history, their role cannot be undermined either.

At present, while the mediums may have evolved they still serve the same purposes and even more. Photographs have become a very popular medium to capture portraits of not just humans, but animals alike. Artists use portrait artworks to simply just paint their dear ones out of love and sometimes to even raise awareness on different causes.  However, no matter the reasons, these artworks are not going to lose their popularity and love anytime soon.


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