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The Brief History of Portrait Painting

Do you call yourself an ardent and a true admirer of the classic portrait paintings? Are you someone who either loves painting or having them framed on your walls, but isn’t a connoisseur of this art and wishes to be one?

With an abundance of information available online about the rich history associated with portrait painting, there is a high chance that one may get misguided. We have created a brief custom portrait to unravel the history of portrait painting leading to the evolution of custom portrait paintings that has taken the world by storm since the 21st century.

A Quick History of Portrait Painting


An extremely prominent part of the history associated with ageless portrait paintings includes the Chinese painting history which is regarded as the most ancient artistic tradition in the world.

To date, this traditional form of Chinese Painting is well-established and most essentially include the intricate techniques that are quite similar to calligraphy. This form of painting is devoid of any oils and is simply done with a brush doused in black ink or colorful pigments. That’s not all! These paintings are majorly carried out on materials like paper and silk giving it a royal feeling.

Moreover, the finished paintings are mostly used for putting up on various kinds of scrolls such as hanging scrolls or handscrolls including other media like album sheets, walls, lacquerware etc.


On a broad spectrum, there are two key techniques used in Chinese painting-

  • Gongbi

This is the kind of technique that makes use of highly intricate brushstrokes showcasing details on a very precise note. The detailing is mostly eminently colored and often portrays figural or narrative subjects. Gongbi is a technique which earlier used to be exercised by artists of the royal courts or independent workshops.

  • Ink painting

Broadly speaking, this technique is also known as watercolor or brush painting and as “literati painting”. This generally used to be practiced by gentlemen who belonged to the Chinese Scholar-official class. This technique is also popularly termed as “xieyi” which basically means freehand style.

Now, let us quickly dive straight into the form of Chinese painting which was and is still valued to be as one of the most powerful ones – the Landscape painting. The history of landscape painting dates back to the time from the Five Dynasties period to the period of Northern Song (907–1127), which is known as the “Great age of Chinese landscape”.


A few artists in the north like Jing Hao, Li Cheng, Fan Kuan, and Guo Xi created beautiful paintings of sky-high mountains, using bold black lines, ink wash and dabbing brushstrokes to indicate rough stones.

Whereas in the south, a few artists like Dong Yuan, Juran including other artists created beautiful paintings of rolling mountains and rivers of their native countryside, using subtle, rubbed brushwork. In the end, both these kinds of artworks came to be known as the traditional and classical styles of Chinese landscape painting.

Evolution of the Customized Portrait Painting

Today, one can find a great variety of custom portraits in the markets worldwide but let us dwell into its history first.


The history of portrait painting dates back to the aristocratic times of Europe in the 13th century. The culture was born out of devotional and then dynastic purposes, which eventually spread out markedly like a wildfire.

Right after, the tradespeople were seen getting their images portrayed and by the end of the 15th century when the famous Arnolfini Portrait surfaced, portraiture became a genre of its own. Today, the art of portrait painting has emerged out be as something highly sought after that speaks about unparalleled luxury among the wealthy.

In addition to this, at present we have easy access to get the custom portrait paintings purchased for innumerable purposes. Also, we are lucky to have the availability of art reproduction which is a beautiful copy of original paintings on canvas. This exclusive handmade art ranges from scenic landscapes to enormous murals to even the chiseled sculptures.

These incredible pieces of handmade art and oil reproduction can be used to decorate and amp up the walls of your home and radiate a warm, optimistic and welcoming vibe.

You can have a wall gallery to display the amazing artworks at your home and also use these to enhance the ambiance of your office. You just have to keep in mind that the cost of reproductions can vary depending upon the level of intricacy and the type of surface it is printed on.

To Wrap Up!

With an in-depth insight into the art of portrait painting, you must have garnered a great deal of knowledge about the artwork. You are now all ready to browse through some incredible works and get one for yourself.

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Posted by on January 29, 2020. Filed under FAMILY/ADVICE. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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One Response to The Brief History of Portrait Painting

  1. Rachael Reply

    January 30, 2020 at 8:14 am

    Very interesting article.

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