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Portrait art intends to portray a likeness, realistic or otherwise depending on the style of artwork, of a human subject. The portrait may only focus on the face, upper body or whole body of the subject and there may be multiple subjects in a single portrait artwork. Portraits can be painted, drawn, sculpted or another artistic portrayal of the subject.
The face, features, expression and stance are all prevalent in portrait art and the intention is to present accurate resemblance (allowing for the style of artwork), personality and mood of the individual.
During history, portrait art predominantly memorialised leaders, the rich and the powerful. However it gradually became more common for middle class people to commission portraits. Portrait art is now popular subject matter for contemporary artists who create portraits in many artistic disciplines, using various mediums. Rather than the traditional, formal looking portraits of the past, the portrait artists of today portray their subject in a multitude of different and creative compositions.