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Sarah Docken
AH 1020
Lindsey Mikash
5/6/2013
Renaissance Ideals and Images Paper
The Renaissance Ideals and Images reading written Bruce Cole is his expression about portraiture and what it’s function and as well aesthetics were behind these works of art. Cole starts off the reading by giving a brief history on what portraiture was used for before the Renaissance. He says that during the fourteenth century portraiture was used as rank but the artist would put the person in a type. A type is the bare essentials of a person, much like adding a label to someone when looking at them such as, fat, skinny, old, middle-aged, handsome, ugly, etc. Cole then goes on to say this convention of portraiture began to change around the middle of the fifteenth century.

The change of how portraiture was treated in the fifteenth century is that the artists began to strive to accurately paint and/or draw the face in a realistic manner. Cole makes it clear that this realistic portrait was based with the new awareness of the worth and uniqueness of the individual and the desire to leave a record of one’s likeness. This early fifteenth century portraiture was displayed in the home and according to Cole they were most likely used as a memorial and to preserve the likeness of the person after his or her death. He also mentions how the early Renaissance believed in the magic power of images and thought that these realistic portraits captured the essence of the person who was being painted. I find that really interesting because now in the 21st century it is so easy to capture a moment and easily hold on to a memory while this was not the case in the fifteenth century. Artists would have to paint for hours and the sitter would have to sit very still in order for this one painting to preserve a memory and memorialize someone. In the second half of the fifteenth century another important change to portraiture occurred. This change was the sitter moving from profile view to either...
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