Publishing house "ARKA" offers the reader – an adult or almost adult, to make a fascinating journey to distant lands of the fairy-tale Kingdom: the history of world culture, using only one key – portrait. The book acquaints young readers with one of the most interesting genres of art in all its diversity. The book includes portraits created as a nameless masters of the ancient world and the great artists of XV–XX centuries, worked in different techniques and with different materials – marble and bronze, engraving and painting.

Author of "A Portrait" – is an artist and teacher Nikolay Lokot'kov – he examines such types of these genre as the front chamber, family and children, paired and collective, historical and genre portrait, portrait in medallic art and marble, the portrait in the engraving and printing using the material in the collection of the Hermitage. The author helps us to look at characters, notice details, recognize the symbolism of the "talking" objects, to distinguish between artistic sincerity, the will of the customer and diplomatic necessity. And generally helps us, be heard by the artist and his time.

We start publishing chapters from this book.

Лоренцо Коста. Женский портрет. 1500–1506. Х., м.
Lorenzo Costa. Portrait of a woman. 1500-1506. Oil on canvas.

The Renaissance was truly the era of the Individual. Admiration for nature, admiration for the intelligence and talent of the person brought to the portrait genre. This period in art history marked by significant gallery of portraits. Initially, there were only portraits of the profile, descending towards the ancient Egyptian, and medallic art. Then, as if tired from the contemplation of the plastics profile, the artists wanted to look into the eyes of the model, to see his inner world. They went over to the picture of a man in three quarters, slightly turning the head towards the viewer. It was at this time the portrait was psychological, very beautiful, sincere portraits of famous personalities and simply contemporaries, has acquired all the features easel. He became a favorite genre of artists. Master enthusiastically competed in the ability to imitate the human, looking intently at the model, his works demonstrating the admiration of the main God’s creation  – a man!

"A portrait of a woman" by  Lorenzo Costa stands out in a series of beautiful portraits of the Renaissance. The painting head of a woman still depicted in three-quarters, but is now aimed at the viewer. Her face captivates with its naturalness and liveliness. She's like a butterfly emerging from the cocoon and saw the world for the first time. In her eyes and amazement, and a light wariness, and interest in what is happening around. A few ornaments add a special elegance. Impeccable taste and skill of the artist as a sign of Age!


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