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Portrait paintings

Buy a portrait painting Carré d'artistes

Portrait painting for sale:

Carré d'artistes presents a large selection of portrait paintings. The portrait painting is a privileged genre in art and has known a remarkable and fascinating evolution. 

Purchase portrait painting

Carré d'artiste offers unique and certified works thanks to its network of over 600 emerging artists. We have the largest community of art lovers in Europe.
The portrait paintings are selected by our art curators, we select the latest trends to guide you in your purchase of painting.

Discover our selection of portrait paintings in our galleries and on our website.

Our portrait paintings are made with various techniques, watercolour, oil painting, acrylic painting. Find several types of portraits and portrait genres in our selections, group portrait, woman portrait, man portrait. The art of portraiture and staging!

The portrait painted in colour or in black and white ? Our painters have talent! 
If you have any questions, our art curators can guide you by telephone on 04 86 31 85 33 or by videoconference. 


The great history of the portrait in painting 

The history :

The history of portrait painting begins in antiquity and is thought to be at the origin of the plastic arts. The portrait was a very popular genre in Greek, Roman and Egyptian times. From the very beginning, it was a way of representing the divine and the most influential people of a time. In the Middle Ages, in the same way, portraits were reserved for the elite who portrayed themselves with sacred figures. For a long time, this genre was at the service of religion. The concern for realism was not very important at the time; on the contrary, symbols and pious and religious figurations were favoured rather than a real likeness. 

It was during the Renaissance that the portrait gained in importance. Resemblance and realism became necessary for a good painting. Portrait painting followed the developments in Italy and Flanders, where painting became more and more realistic and the art of perspective was established. It is easy to understand how important this pictorial theme was in societies where photography did not yet exist. 

The portrait remained fashionable for a long time. But in the 17th century, in the classical period, it was considered inferior to history painting, the genre par excellence, which represented great political or religious subjects. Many great painters abandoned it for more glorious and better-regarded representations.

 It was in the 19th century that portrait painting regained its breath and vigour, although the arrival of photography was a serious competitor to this genre. People became more important in civilian life and ordinary people could be portrayed in paintings. The twentieth century continued this trend and brought novelty to the genre according to the different schools and styles of painting. The art of portraiture is still a fundamental genre of painting today and many contemporary artists are practising portraiture. 

Important portrait painters and paintings 

During the Renaissance, this genre took on considerable importance. It was during this period of history that some remarkable paintings appeared that have become a cult in the history of art. 

Jan van Eyck's painting of the Arnolfini couple (1434) is a turning point between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: it shows that realism became decisive in art, as did the use of perspective. In Italy, there are two paintings by Piero della Francesca, the great Florentine painter of the Renaissance. But the most famous of these is undoubtedly Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. At the same time, there is Raphael's magnificent portrait of Baldassare Castiglione (1514-1515). 

Paintings of courtly figures were very fashionable from the 16th to the 18th centuries: Hyacinthe Rigaud's painting of Louis XIV in coronation costume (1701) is very representative. In another style, we find Jacques-Louis David: from Napoleon to the ladies of the world, via Marat assassinated. His painting of Madame Récamier (1800) shows his mastery and his pronounced taste for this genre. But the genre continued to evolve. In his painting of the journalist Sylvia von Harden, Otto Dix represents novelty and a resolutely modern spirit. The twentieth century did not abandon this genre, on the contrary, it gave it an extraordinary vivacity. 

Techniques and characteristics of portraiture 


There is no particular technique for this type of painting. The techniques used are related to the paint used: oil or acrylic; and the supports: frescoes, wood, canvas, etc. The most important point remains the resemblance (more or less pronounced, depending on the style and the period).
What is important is to recognise the person painted. It is important to be able to reproduce the unique character of a person, in addition to their appearance. The portraitist paints the way a person is, his personality, and can also transcribe the feelings he has towards him. 


The characteristics that make it possible to quickly recognize a painting of this kind are simple: there is always a person (or several if it is a couple, a group or a family), often in the centre of the painting. It can also be a self-portrait, i.e. the painter represents himself, more or less faithfully. 

However, there are different forms: in painting (the most common form), drawing, engraving, sculpture, etc. The body is not always entirely represented: one finds either the head, the bust, half body, half leg, or the foot (whole). The person may be painted from the front, three-quarter view, or in profile. The person may be sitting, standing, riding or lying down. The background of the painting is also important and characterises an era or a genre of painting. Caricature is also part of the art of portraiture.


At Carré d'artistes, discover various and original contemporary artists' portrait paintings by Karl Gustavsen, Nathalie Cubero, or Virginie Schroeder, for example, which are unique and contemporary works. 

(23 Artworks)
23 Artworks
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