Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,084 inhabitants in 2013, over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area. Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of that era, it is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the established Kingdom of Italy; the Florentine dialect forms the base of Standard Italian and it became the language of culture throughout Italy due to the prestige of the masterpieces by Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini. The city attracts millions of tourists each year, the Historic Centre of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982; the city is noted for Renaissance art and architecture and monuments.
The city contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, still exerts an influence in the fields of art and politics. Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Florence is an important city in Italian fashion, being ranked in the top 15 fashion capitals of the world. In 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy. Florence originated as a Roman city, after a long period as a flourishing trading and banking medieval commune, it was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was politically and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe and the world from the 14th to 16th centuries; the language spoken in the city during the 14th century was, still is, accepted as the Italian language. All the writers and poets in Italian literature of the golden age are in some way connected with Florence, leading to the adoption of the Florentine dialect, above all the local dialects, as a literary language of choice.
Starting from the late Middle Ages, Florentine money—in the form of the gold florin—financed the development of industry all over Europe, from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon and Hungary. Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War, they financed the papacy, including the construction of their provisional capital of Avignon and, after their return to Rome, the reconstruction and Renaissance embellishment of Rome. Florence was home to the Medici, one of European history's most important noble families. Lorenzo de' Medici was considered a political and cultural mastermind of Italy in the late 15th century. Two members of the family were popes in the early 16th century: Leo X and Clement VII. Catherine de Medici married King Henry II of France and, after his death in, reigned as regent in France. Marie de' Medici married Henry IV of France and gave birth to the future King Louis XIII; the Medici reigned as Grand Dukes of Tuscany, starting with Cosimo I de' Medici in 1569 and ending with the death of Gian Gastone de' Medici in 1737.
The Etruscans formed in 200 BC the small settlement of Fiesole, destroyed by Lucius Cornelius Sulla in 80 BC in reprisal for supporting the populares faction in Rome. The present city of Florence was established by Julius Caesar in 59 BC as a settlement for his veteran soldiers and was named Fluentia, owing to the fact that it was built between two rivers, changed to Florentia, it was built in the style of an army camp with the main streets, the cardo and the decumanus, intersecting at the present Piazza della Repubblica. Situated along the Via Cassia, the main route between Rome and the north, within the fertile valley of the Arno, the settlement became an important commercial centre. In centuries to come, the city experienced turbulent periods of Ostrogothic rule, during which the city was troubled by warfare between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines, which may have caused the population to fall to as few as 1,000 people. Peace returned under Lombard rule in the 6th century. Florence was conquered by Charlemagne in 774 and became part of the Duchy of Tuscany, with Lucca as capital.
The population began to grow again and commerce prospered. In 854, Florence and Fiesole were united in one county. Margrave Hugo chose Florence as his residency instead of Lucca at about 1000 AD; the Golden Age of Florentine art began around this time. In 1013, construction began on the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte; the exterior of the church was reworked in Romanesque style between 1059 and 1128. In 1100, Florence was a "Commune"; the city's primary resource was the Arno river, providing power and access for the industry, access to the Mediterranean sea for international trade. Another great source of strength was its industrious merchant community; the Florentine merchant banking skills became recognised in Europe after they brought decisive financial innovation to medieval fairs. This period saw the eclipse of Florence's powerful rival Pisa, the exercise of power by the mercantile elite following an anti-aristocratic movement, led by Giano della Bella, that resulted in a set of laws called the Ordinances of Justice.
Of a population estimated at 94,00
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian opera composer. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, Gioachino Rossini, whose works influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history. In his early operas, Verdi demonstrated a sympathy with the Risorgimento movement which sought the unification of Italy, he participated as an elected politician. The chorus "Va, pensiero" from his early opera Nabucco, similar choruses in operas, were much in the spirit of the unification movement, the composer himself became esteemed as a representative of these ideals. An intensely private person, however, did not seek to ingratiate himself with popular movements and as he became professionally successful was able to reduce his operatic workload and sought to establish himself as a landowner in his native region.
He surprised the musical world by returning, after his success with the opera Aida, with three late masterpieces: his Requiem, the operas Otello and Falstaff. His operas remain popular the three peaks of his'middle period': Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La traviata, the 2013 bicentenary of his birth was celebrated in broadcasts and performances. Verdi, the first child of Carlo Giuseppe Verdi and Luigia Uttini, was born at their home in Le Roncole, a village near Busseto in the Département Taro and within the borders of the First French Empire following the annexation of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza in 1808; the baptismal register, prepared on 11 October 1813, lists his parents Carlo and Luigia as "innkeeper" and "spinner" respectively. Additionally, it lists Verdi as being "born yesterday", but since days were considered to begin at sunset, this could have meant either 9 or 10 October. Following his mother, Verdi always celebrated his birthday on 9 October, the day he himself believed he was born.
Verdi had a younger sister, who died aged 17 in 1833. From the age of four, Verdi was given private lessons in Latin and Italian by the village schoolmaster, at six he attended the local school. After learning to play the organ, he showed so much interest in music that his parents provided him with a spinet. Verdi's gift for music was apparent by 1820–21 when he began his association with the local church, serving in the choir, acting as an altar boy for a while, taking organ lessons. After Baistrocchi's death, Verdi, at the age of eight, became; the music historian Roger Parker points out that both of Verdi's parents "belonged to families of small landowners and traders not the illiterate peasants from which Verdi liked to present himself as having emerged... Carlo Verdi was energetic in furthering his son's education...something which Verdi tended to hide in life... he picture emerges of youthful precocity eagerly nurtured by an ambitious father and of a sustained and elaborate formal education."In 1823, when he was 10, Verdi's parents arranged for the boy to attend school in Busseto, enrolling him in a Ginnasio—an upper school for boys—run by Don Pietro Seletti, while they continued to run their inn at Le Roncole.
Verdi returned to Busseto to play the organ on Sundays, covering the distance of several kilometres on foot. At age 11, Verdi received schooling in Italian, the humanities, rhetoric. By the time he was 12, he began lessons with Ferdinando Provesi, maestro di cappella at San Bartolomeo, director of the municipal music school and co-director of the local Società Filarmonica. Verdi stated: "From the ages of 13 to 18 I wrote a motley assortment of pieces: marches for band by the hundred as many little sinfonie that were used in church, in the theatre and at concerts, five or six concertos and sets of variations for pianoforte, which I played myself at concerts, many serenades and various pieces of church music, of which I remember only a Stabat Mater." This information comes from the Autobiographical Sketch which Verdi dictated to the publisher Giulio Ricordi late in life, in 1879, remains the leading source for his early life and career. Written, with the benefit of hindsight, it is not always reliable when dealing with issues more contentious than those of his childhood.
The other director of the Philharmonic Society was Antonio Barezzi, a wholesale grocer and distiller, described by a contemporary as a "manic dilettante" of music. The young Verdi did not become involved with the Philharmonic. By June 1827, he had graduated with honours from the Ginnasio and was able to focus on music under Provesi. By chance, when he was 13, Verdi was asked to step in as a replacement to play in what became his first public event in his home town. By 1829–30, Verdi had established himself as a leader of the Philharmonic: "none of us could rival him" reported the secretary of the organisation, Giuseppe Demaldè. An eight-movement cantata, I deliri di Saul, based on a drama by Vittorio Alfieri, was written by Verdi when he was 15 and performed in Bergamo, it was acclaimed by both Demaldè and Barezzi, who commented: "He shows a vivid imagination, a philosophical outlook, sound judgment in the arrangement of instrumental parts." In late 1829, Verdi had completed his s
Diego Martelli was an Italian art critic, one of the first supporters of Impressionism in Italy. He was a defender and associate of the Tuscan artists the Macchiaioli, whom he hosted at his estate in Castiglioncello. Martelli was born in the son of a road engineer, he studied natural sciences at the University of Pisa. In 1855, while still in his teens, he became acquainted with the group of artists who frequented the Caffè Michelangiolo in Florence who would become known as the Macchiaioli. In 1859 Martelli fought in the Second Italian War of Independence. In 1861 he inherited a large estate around Castiglioncello on a hill overlooking a cliff. Castiglioncello at the time was a small village of fishermen and farmers, as evidenced in the numerous paintings of the movement. Martelli's home there became a haven where his artist friends could work from nature, he became an advocate and theoretician of the Macchiaioli, his writing on art in the 1860s championed the realism of artists such as Courbet and the Barbizon School.
In 1862 -- 63 he made his first visit to Paris. He encountered the work of Manet, which he disparaged as "ugly" and "ostentatious", he traveled to Paris again in 1869. During his third trip to the French capital in 1870 he attended lectures on organic chemistry by Michel Eugène Chevreul, whose color theories were of great interest to Martelli. With Adriano Cecioni and Telemaco Signorini he founded the journal Gazzettino delle arti del disegno in 1867, in 1873 he initiated the art journal Giornale artistico. In the mid-1870s, letters he received from his friend Federico Zandomeneghi, who had relocated to Paris in 1874, stimulated Martelli's curiosity about the Impressionists, his fourth and longest sojourn in Paris was from April 1878 to April 1879. The articles he wrote for various Italian journals during his stay reveal his developing interest in the formal and optical qualities of Impressionism, which supplanted his earlier enthusiasm for art that emphasized rural values and social concerns as exemplified by Millet.
He spent time with Manet, with Degas who painted two portraits of him in 1879. Martelli's closest friendship among the Impressionists was with Pissarro who, at Martelli's urging, exhibited two of his paintings in the Florence Promotrice of 1879; that they were poorly received by the Macchiaioli, was a disappointment to Martelli. Martelli continued to champion new art. In a lecture he delivered in Venice in 1895, he praised the Neo-Impressionists, who "on the basis of the theories of light and color combinations, scientifically explained by the chemist Chevreul... carry out experiments that today are ridiculed but that will be the triumphs of tomorrow."Martelli died in Florence on November 20, 1896. He left a collection of art to the city of Florence. Baumann, Felix Andreas, Jean Sutherland Boggs, Edgar Degas, Marianne Karabelnik. Degas Portraits. London: Merrell Holberton. ISBN 1-85894-014-1 Boime, Albert; the Art of the Macchia and the Risorgimento: Representing Culture and Nationalism in Nineteenth-century Italy.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-22606-330-5 Broude, Norma; the Macchiaioli: Italian Painters of the Nineteenth Century. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03547-0 Calingaert, Efrem Gisella "More'Pictures-Within-Pictures': Degas' Portraits of Diego Martelli". Arts Magazine. Volume 62. Pp. 40–44
Lorenzo Ferrero is a contemporary Italian composer, librettist and book editor. He started composing at an early age and has written over a hundred compositions thus far, including twelve operas, three ballets, numerous orchestral, chamber music, solo instrumental, vocal works, his musical idiom is characterized by eclecticism, stylistic versatility, a neo-tonal language. Born in Turin, he studied composition from 1969 to 1973 with Massimo Bruni and Enore Zaffiri at Turin Music Conservatory, philosophy with Gianni Vattimo and Massimo Mila at the University of Turin, earning a degree in aesthetics with a thesis on John Cage in 1974, his early interest in the psychology of perception and psychoacoustics led him to IMEB, the International Electroacoustic Music Institute of Bourges, where he did research on electronic music between 1972 and 1973, IRCAM in Paris, to the Musik/Dia/Licht/Film Galerie in Munich in 1974. Lorenzo Ferrero has received commissions from numerous festivals and institutions, his works being performed throughout Europe and North America in Italy, France, Great Britain, Finland, the Czech Republic, the United States.
His most popular compositions include the operas Marilyn, La figlia del mago, Salvatore Giuliano, Charlotte Corday, La Conquista, Risorgimento!, the first Piano Concerto, the Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, the set of six symphonic poems La Nueva España, the song cycle Canzoni d'amore, the Capriccio for Piano and String Orchestra, Ostinato, Glamorama Spies, Tempi di quartetto for string quartet, the ballet Franca Florio, regina di Palermo. In 1986 he participated in the Prix Italia with his work La fuga di Foscolo, his music is published by Milan. As an active manager of art events, he has served as artistic director of the Festival Puccini in Torre del Lago, "Unione Musicale" in Turin, Arena di Verona Festival, the "Musica 2000" fair. In 1999 he co-founded and coordinated the "Festa della Musica", a showcase of classical and world music held in Milan, four years he managed the Ravello Festival. In 2007 Lorenzo Ferrero was appointed to the board of directors and elected vice-president of SIAE, the Italian Authors and Publishers Association.
That same year he published the Manuale di scrittura musicale, a manual which describes the basic rules of correct and elegant music writing from the orthographic as well as the graphic point of view, addressed to all composers, teachers and copy-editors in need of practical advice. In 2008 he translated and published Lo studio dell'orchestrazione, the Italian edition of Samuel Adler's The Study of Orchestration, a landmark orchestration manual. Lorenzo Ferrero has been professor of composition at Milan Conservatory from 1980 to 2016, his teaching appointments include positions at St. Mary's College of Maryland and LUISS Business School, a division of LUISS Guido Carli University of Rome. Moreover, as member of the Italian National Union of Composers and Authors he co-founded ECSA, the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance, between 2011 and 2017 he was president of CIAM, the International Council of Music Authors. In 2017, he was appointed honourary president of CIAM. Lorenzo Ferrero was described in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera as "the most successful opera composer of his generation in Italy" and in The New Penguin Opera Guide as "a principal exponent of the neo-tonal tendencies common to a number of Italian composers of his generation, who has championed a brand of narrative music-theatre that aims to capture a wider audience than that achieved by the heirs of the modernist tradition."
In addition to the original works listed below, Lorenzo Ferrero completed the orchestration of the third version of the opera La rondine by Giacomo Puccini, subsequently premiered at Teatro Regio di Torino on 22 March 1994. With a group of six other Italian composers he wrote the Requiem per le vittime della mafia, a collaborative composition for soloists and orchestra on an Italian text by Vincenzo Consolo; the requiem was first performed in the Palermo Cathedral on 27 March 1993. Furthermore, he wrote the music for the Sestriere Alpine World Ski Championships opening ceremony of 1997 including the official anthem, incidental music for stage productions, a film score. British musicologist David Osmond-Smith described his style as "an unabashed synthesis of classical traditions and pop that never forgets its 19-century precursors." Rimbaud, ou Le Fils du soleil, quasi un melodramma in three acts Marilyn, scenes from the'50s in two acts La figlia del mago, giocodramma melodioso in two acts Mare nostro, comic opera in two acts Night, opera in one act Salvatore Giuliano, opera in one act Charlotte Corday, opera in three acts Le Bleu-blanc-rouge et le noir, marionette opera La nascita di Orfeo, musical action in one act La Conquista, opera in two acts Le piccole storie: Ai margini delle guerre, chamber opera in one act Risorgimento!, opera in one act Invito a nozze, ballet Lotus Eaters, ballet Franca Florio, regina di Palermo, ballet in two acts Ellipse IV, for folk ensemble ad libitum Romanza seconda, for bassoon and strings Arioso, for orchestra and live electronics Arioso II, for large orchestra Balletto, for orchestra My Blues, for string orchestra Thema 44, for small orchestra Ombres, for orchestra and live electronics The Miracle, suite for orchestra Intermezzo notturno from Mare nostro, for small orchestra Intermezzo "Portella della Gines
Edgar Degas was a French artist famous for his paintings, sculptures and drawings. He is identified with the subject of dance. Regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, he rejected the term, preferring to be called a realist, he was a superb draftsman, masterly in depicting movement, as can be seen in his rendition of dancers, racecourse subjects and female nudes. His portraits are notable for their psychological complexity and for their portrayal of human isolation. At the beginning of his career, Degas wanted to be a history painter, a calling for which he was well prepared by his rigorous academic training and close study of classical art. In his early thirties, he changed course, by bringing the traditional methods of a history painter to bear on contemporary subject matter, he became a classical painter of modern life. Degas was born in Paris, into a moderately wealthy family, he was the oldest of five children of Célestine Musson De Gas, a Creole from New Orleans and Augustin De Gas, a banker.
His maternal grandfather Germain Musson, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti of French descent and had settled in New Orleans in 1810. Degas began his schooling at age eleven, his mother died when he was thirteen, his father and grandfather became the main influences on him for the remainder of his youth. Degas began to paint early in life. By the time he graduated from the Lycée with a baccalauréat in literature in 1853, at age 18, he had turned a room in his home into an artist's studio. Upon graduating, he registered as a copyist in The Louvre Museum, but his father expected him to go to law school. Degas duly enrolled at the Faculty of Law of the University of Paris in November 1853, but applied little effort to his studies. In 1855 he met Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, whom Degas revered and whose advice he never forgot: "Draw lines, young man, still more lines, both from life and from memory, you will become a good artist." In April of that year Degas was admitted to the École des Beaux-Arts.
He studied drawing there with Louis Lamothe, under whose guidance he flourished, following the style of Ingres. In July 1856, Degas traveled to Italy. In 1858, while staying with his aunt's family in Naples, he made the first studies for his early masterpiece The Bellelli Family, he drew and painted numerous copies of works by Michelangelo, Raphael and other Renaissance artists, but—contrary to conventional practice—he selected from an altarpiece a detail that had caught his attention: a secondary figure, or a head which he treated as a portrait. Upon his return to France in 1859, Degas moved into a Paris studio large enough to permit him to begin painting The Bellelli Family—an imposing canvas he intended for exhibition in the Salon, although it remained unfinished until 1867, he began work on several history paintings: Alexander and Bucephalus and The Daughter of Jephthah in 1859–60. In 1861 Degas visited his childhood friend Paul Valpinçon in Normandy, made the earliest of his many studies of horses.
He exhibited at the Salon for the first time in 1865, when the jury accepted his painting Scene of War in the Middle Ages, which attracted little attention. Although he exhibited annually in the Salon during the next five years, he submitted no more history paintings, his Steeplechase—The Fallen Jockey signaled his growing commitment to contemporary subject matter; the change in his art was influenced by the example of Édouard Manet, whom Degas had met in 1864. Upon the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Degas enlisted in the National Guard, where his defense of Paris left him little time for painting. During rifle training his eyesight was found to be defective, for the rest of his life his eye problems were a constant worry to him. After the war, Degas began in 1872 an extended stay in New Orleans, where his brother René and a number of other relatives lived. Staying at the home of his Creole uncle, Michel Musson, on Esplanade Avenue, Degas produced a number of works, many depicting family members.
One of Degas's New Orleans works, A Cotton Office in New Orleans, garnered favorable attention back in France, was his only work purchased by a museum during his lifetime. Degas returned to Paris in 1873 and his father died the following year, whereupon Degas learned that his brother René had amassed enormous business debts. To preserve his family's reputation, Degas sold his house and an art collection he had inherited, used the money to pay off his brother's debts. Dependent for the first time in his life on sales of his artwork for income, he produced much of his greatest work during the decade beginning in 1874. Disenchanted by now with the Salon, he instead joined a group of young artists who were organizing an independent exhibiting society; the group soon became known as the Impressionists. Between 1874 and 1886 they mounted eight art shows, known as the Impressionist Exhibitions. Degas took a leading role in organizing the exhibitions, showed his work in all but one of them, despite his persistent conflicts with others in the group.
He had little in common with Monet and the other landscape painters in the group, whom he mocked for painting outdoors. Conservative in his social attitudes, he abhorred the sca
Landscape painting known as landscape art, is the depiction of landscapes in art – natural scenery such as mountains, trees and forests where the main subject is a wide view – with its elements arranged into a coherent composition. In other works, landscape backgrounds for figures can still form an important part of the work. Sky is always included in the view, weather is an element of the composition. Detailed landscapes as a distinct subject are not found in all artistic traditions, develop when there is a sophisticated tradition of representing other subjects; the two main traditions spring from Western painting and Chinese art, going back well over a thousand years in both cases. The recognition of a spiritual element in landscape art is present from its beginnings in East Asian art, drawing on Daoism and other philosophical traditions, but in the West only becomes explicit with Romanticism. Landscape views in art may be imaginary, or copied from reality with varying degrees of accuracy.
If the primary purpose of a picture is to depict an actual, specific place including buildings prominently, it is called a topographical view. Such views common as prints in the West, are seen as inferior to fine art landscapes, although the distinction is not always meaningful; the word "landscape" entered the modern English language as landskip, an anglicization of the Dutch landschap, around the start of the 17th century, purely as a term for works of art, with its first use as a word for a painting in 1598. Within a few decades it was used to describe vistas in poetry, as a term for real views; however the cognate term landscaef or landskipe for a cleared patch of land had existed in Old English, though it is not recorded from Middle English. The earliest forms of art around the world depict little that could be called landscape, although ground-lines and sometimes indications of mountains, trees or other natural features are included; the earliest "pure landscapes" with no human figures are frescos from Minoan Greece of around 1500 BCE.
Hunting scenes those set in the enclosed vista of the reed beds of the Nile Delta from Ancient Egypt, can give a strong sense of place, but the emphasis is on individual plant forms and human and animal figures rather than the overall landscape setting. The frescos from the Tomb of Nebamun, now in the British Museum, are a famous example. For a coherent depiction of a whole landscape, some rough system of perspective, or scaling for distance, is needed, this seems from literary evidence to have first been developed in Ancient Greece in the Hellenistic period, although no large-scale examples survive. More ancient Roman landscapes survive, from the 1st century BCE onwards frescos of landscapes decorating rooms that have been preserved at archaeological sites of Pompeii and elsewhere, mosaics; the Chinese ink painting tradition of shan shui, or "pure" landscape, in which the only sign of human life is a sage, or a glimpse of his hut, uses sophisticated landscape backgrounds to figure subjects, landscape art of this period retains a classic and much-imitated status within the Chinese tradition.
Both the Roman and Chinese traditions show grand panoramas of imaginary landscapes backed with a range of spectacular mountains – in China with waterfalls and in Rome including sea, lakes or rivers. These were used, as in the example illustrated, to bridge the gap between a foreground scene with figures and a distant panoramic vista, a persistent problem for landscape artists; the Chinese style showed only a distant view, or used dead ground or mist to avoid that difficulty. A major contrast between landscape painting in the West and East Asia has been that while in the West until the 19th century it occupied a low position in the accepted hierarchy of genres, in East Asia the classic Chinese mountain-water ink painting was traditionally the most prestigious form of visual art. Aesthetic theories in both regions gave the highest status to the works seen to require the most imagination from the artist. In the West this was history painting, but in East Asia it was the imaginary landscape, where famous practitioners were, at least in theory, amateur literati, including several Emperors of both China and Japan.
They were also poets whose lines and images illustrated each other. In the 1830s the British inventor William Talbot creates the process of calotype and in 1844 he publishes the first book with photo illustrations: "The Pencil of Nature"Talbot, W. H. F.. The Pencil of Nature: in 6 parts. However, in the West, history painting came to require an extensive landscape background where appropriate, so the theory did not work against the development of landscape painting – for several centuries landscapes were promoted to the status of history painting by the addition of small figures to make a narrative scene religious or mythological. In early Western medieval art interest in landscape disappears entirely, kept alive only in copies of Late Antique works such as the Utrecht Psalter. A revival in interest in nature mainly manifested itself in depictions of small gardens such as the Hortus Conclusus or those in millefleur tapestries; the frescos of figures at work or pl
See Portrait for more about the general topic of portraits. Portrait painting is a genre in painting; the term'portrait painting' can describe the actual painted portrait. Portraitists may create their work by commission, for public and private persons, or they may be inspired by admiration or affection for the subject. Portraits are important state and family records, as well as remembrances. Portrait paintings have memorialized the rich and powerful. Over time, however, it became more common for middle-class patrons to commission portraits of their families and colleagues. Today, portrait paintings are still commissioned by governments, groups and individuals. In addition to painting, portraits can be made in other media such as prints, photography and digital media. A well-executed portrait is expected to show the inner essence of the subject or a flattering representation, not just a literal likeness; as Aristotle stated, "The aim of Art is to present not the outward appearance of things, but their inner significance.
Artists may strive for photographic realism or an impressionistic similarity in depicting their subject, but this differs from a caricature which attempts to reveal character through exaggeration of physical features. The artist attempts a representative portrayal, as Edward Burne-Jones stated, "The only expression allowable in great portraiture is the expression of character and moral quality, not anything temporary, fleeting, or accidental."In most cases, this results in a serious, closed lip stare, with anything beyond a slight smile being rather rare historically. Or as Charles Dickens put it, "there are only two styles of portrait painting: the serious and the smirk." Given these limitations, a full range of subtle emotions is possible from quiet menace to gentle contentment. However, with the mouth neutral, much of the facial expression needs to be created through the eyes and eyebrows; as author and artist Gordon C. Aymar states, "the eyes are the place one looks for the most complete and pertinent information" about the subject.
And the eyebrows can register, "almost single-handedly, pity, pain, concentration, wistfulness and expectation, in infinite variations and combinations."Portrait painting can depict the subject "full-length", "half-length", "head and shoulders", or just the head. The subject's head may turn from "full face" to profile. Artists have created composites with views from multiple directions, as with Anthony van Dyck's triple portrait of Charles I in Three Positions. There are a few portraits where the front of the subject is not visible at all. Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World is a famous example, where the pose of the disabled girl – with her back turned to the viewer – integrates with the setting in which she is placed to convey the artist's interpretation. Among the other possible variables, the subject can be nude. Portrait paintings can be of individuals, couples and children, families, or collegial groups, they can be created in various media including oils, watercolor and ink, charcoal and mixed media.
Artists may employ a wide-ranging palette of colors, as with Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Mme. Charpentier and her children, 1878 or restrict themselves to white or black, as with Gilbert Stuart's Portrait of George Washington. Sometimes, the overall size of the portrait is an important consideration. Chuck Close's enormous portraits created for museum display differ from most portraits designed to fit in the home or to travel with the client. An artist takes into account where the final portrait will hang and the colors and style of the surrounding décor. Creating a portrait can take considerable time requiring several sittings. Cézanne, on one extreme, insisted on over 100 sittings from his subject. Goya on the other hand, preferred one long day's sitting; the average is about four. Portraitists sometimes present their sitters with a portfolio of drawings or photos from which a sitter would select a preferred pose, as did Sir Joshua Reynolds. Some, such as Hans Holbein the Younger make a drawing of the face complete the rest of the painting without the sitter.
In the 18th century, it would take about one year to deliver a completed portrait to a client. Managing the sitter's expectations and mood is a serious concern for the portrait artist; as to the faithfulness of the portrait to the sitter's appearance, portraitists are consistent in their approach. Clients who sought out Sir Joshua Reynolds knew that they would receive a flattering result, while sitters of Thomas Eakins knew to expect a realistic, unsparing portrait; some subjects voice strong preferences, others let the artist decide entirely. Oliver Cromwell famously demanded that his portrait show "all these roughnesses, pimples and everything as you see me, otherwise I will never pay a farthing for it."After putting the sitter at ease and encouraging a natural pose, the artist studies his subject, looking for the one facial expression, out of many possibilities, that satisfies his concept of t