A Brief History Of Family Portraits

Commissioning a family portrait is as popular now as it’s ever been. Some families want a one-off portrait that they can cherish forever, while others get one done every year to mark the changes in their ever growing family. However, having a family portrait done professionally, is by no means a modern experience. Family portraits have been around since the ancient civilisations. Here’s a brief look at the history of family portraits and how methods have changed throughout the ages. 16th Century Oil paintings of dynastic families were popular in the 1500s but only for the very rich and powerful. One of the most famous family portraits in history can be seen in the Haunted Gallery at Hampton Court Palace. It depicts Henry VII in a dominant and central position surrounded by his children and Jane Seymour, the mother of his only son, Edward. The actual artist is unknown, yet it’s believed that the family wouldn’t have posed together for the portrait. The children were rarely at court during the same time so the artist would have used other portraits as reference and taken sketches from memory. 19th Century The first type of commercial photography was introduced in the mid […]