The use of portraiture in painting goes back to antiquity, and throughout the centuries, portraiture is a technique that has always existed, even if in terms of the representation of a character, the appearance of photography in the 19th century opened new horizons.
The overall definition of the portrait according to the experts is as follows: "any work which represents a person according to a real model, which is in the effigy of this person, realized by an artist who endeavors to reproduce or to interpret its characteristic traits and expressions. ".
Over the centuries, different types of portraits have been made by artists. The portrait was first religious, to represent Christ for example. The portrait was also the privilege of the nobles and the powerful, who were represented in this way at different stages of their existence. Often realistic because of the search by the artist for a faithful reproduction of his model, the portrait also served to idealize this model, to make it more beautiful, prouder, more charismatic than reality, often to flatter the ego of this noble and powerful model.
The portrait also had a posthumous function. Realized to remember, to immortalize the model, to materialize an aristocratic lineage, many families have long kept a gallery of portraits in their equally aristocratic home, going back to history to their ancestors.
The portrait also had a political function and many dictators of any kind whatsoever, did not hesitate to use this art to appear in their best light with their people, whether in the public domain, in the schools, houses ...
The artists then developed other approaches to portraiture. The caricature was one of them, unlike the idealization of models, it was made to make fun. Then the self-portrait, which many artists have practiced at one time or another of their creative existence.
At the onset of the street art phenomenon, many urban artists made it their specialty. It is not uncommon to see monumental portraits made on the facades of buildings in our cities, often ultrarealistic, these portraits are almost comparable to photographs.
Made by spray can or roll, the quality of these works is impressive of realism. Brought to the dimensions of a canvas, these portraits reveal a similar quality while the dimensions are not the same. Through portraits, urban art mixes with more classical painting techniques.