Years and years ago having a portrait was prestigious: months or years were needed to create one. In the era of smartphones and selfies, we’re becoming more and more interested in fine art and paintings. Portraits depict not only a model, portraits reflect the society and traditions of this or that period of time.
This list doesn’t contain Mona Lisa, A Girl with a Pearl Earring, American Gothic and the Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani (Lady with an Ermine).
For more information on the masterpieces listed above read in the article Most Famous Paintings of All Times: 20 Masterpieces to Know.
What are the most famous portraits of all time? Let’s discover with TexelPrintArt!
John Singer Sargent - Madame X (or Madame Pierre Gautreau)
Beautifully painted, the Portrait of Madame X is a portrait of Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau who was the wife of French banker. She was an American who married French and becаme famous in Parisian high society for her beauty. Sargent was so impressed by her beauty that he wanted to make a portrait. And here it is - a painting of a lady with pale skin looking aside. There is a contrast between the skin and the dark background. This makes the portrait look even more interesting!
Diego Velazquez - Las Meninas
Created in the far 1656, Las Meninas, which means The Maids of Honor, depicts the 5-year-old Margarita Teresa. The painting has so many details which makes it the most analyzed painting in Western art history. Whom do we see here? The maids, the bodyguard, dog and the painter himself – holding a brush and probably painting the royal couple. Also, in the mirror reflection, just above the princess’s head, we see her parents - King Philip IV of Spain and Mariana of Austria.
Frida Kahlo - Las Dos Fridas
Las Dos Fridas or The Two Fridas is one of the numerous portraits of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. This artwork, as well as others, reflect the psychological state. This painting was created during her divorce with Diego Rivera. Frida on the left is wearing a white dress and her heart is bleeding. And the second one is wearing a traditional dress and her heart is whole. This portrait is considered to be a depiction of her loos and emotions. Although, in a year, Diego and Frida remarried again.
Gustav Klimt - Portrait Of Adele Bloch-Bauer I
The portrait of the wife of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer is one of the well-recognized portraits in the world. Gustav Klimt became recognized thanks to his “Golden Phase”. This portrait is the masterpiece from that time. Adele Bloch-Bauer I was 25 years old. She is depicted all in gold, beautiful and effective.
Jan Van Eyck - ARNOLFINI PORTRAIT
Known as The Arnolfini Wedding, this double portrait remains of the most complex in Western art history – in terms of the mirrors and symbols used. Flemish painter who was one of the most important artists of the early Renaissance depicted Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini who was an Italian merchant and his wife. But the studies shown that the woman depicted was not his wife, as she died in 1433 and the painting dated 1434.
Pablo Picasso - Le Rêve
The portrait of Picasso’s mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter is made in the typical for Pablo style. The mistress appears sunny and bright and kind of relaxed. The painter created many works with erotic elements just like this one.
Van Gogh - Self-Portrait, 1889
Before making portraits, Van Gogh was drawing mostly landscapes and nature. But when the time came and he wanted to improve his skills in portraiture, he started to think on one question – “whom to draw”. The point was, he lacked money and found a creative solution – to be a model for himself. He created the portraits in his own manner – pulsating brushstrokes and color combinations.
Albrecht Dürer – Self-portrait
A captivating portrait of the German Renaissance master was painted in 1500 when he was 28 years old. This portrait seems to be the most confident of all. The gesture on the painting is similar to Christ’s blessing gesture.
Pablo Picasso – Self-portrait, 1901
Pablo Picasso made a series of self-portraits – in different styles. So we can watch the development of Picasso as the artist. This self-portrait was created in his Blue period when he was 20 years old.
Rembrandt van Rijn – Self-portrait with beret and turned-up collar
Rembrandt created a lot of his portraits, depicting him at different ages. This self-portrait, as well as other masterpieces, is made in a realistic manner.
Do you want to get closer to the fine arts and hang a masterpiece printed on canvas? Check this collection!