Definition of portraiture in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The art of painting or taking portraits.

    ‘Ingres is a master of portraiture’
    • ‘He could not abide the notion that his one-time protégé had developed independent projects such as a book on Picasso's portraiture or an exhibition of the works of Gris.’
    • ‘To this end, she mines the unlikely genre of amateur portraiture, not the legacy of the modernist avant-garde, creating idiosyncratic works, as alluring as they are critical.’
    • ‘It is no wonder then that portraiture and self-portraiture have long been favourite genres for both artists and audiences alike.’
    • ‘The need for such a contextual foundation of the study becomes evident in the chapter on Italian responses to Flemish landscape paintings and portraiture.’
    • ‘The study of Zen portraiture, itself a certain preoccupation of art historians, was begun by Japanese scholars before World War II and has continued in Japan and internationally since.’
    • ‘The panel received little in the way of direct attention at this time; indeed, Romantic-era understandings of art history and portraiture were not conducive to an appreciation of the panel.’
    • ‘These works could have served as crucial threads to be brought together for an understanding of Rembrandt's unique vision and how he saw himself, his reinvention of history painting and transformation of portraiture.’
    • ‘But it's a definition of portraiture that once again collapses representation with reality - portraiture under the New Iconoclasm, if you will.’
    • ‘And with the return of representational art has come the revival of portraiture, which, according to gallery owners and the artists themselves, is thriving and strong.’
    • ‘Turner elevated English landscape painting from its inferior position below history painting and portraiture and gave it a new expressive role.’
    • ‘Perhaps not quite on the same superlative level of accomplishment, but nevertheless making a distinguished and original contribution, is Veronese's work in a third area of secular painting, that of portraiture.’
    • ‘From an art-history perspective, the lesson teaches about sculpture and portraiture and the differences between two- and three-dimensional art and real and expressive art.’
    • ‘While employed by major commercial studios in Pittsburgh, Detroit and Toronto, he continued his studies of fine art, specializing in portraiture, figure, and plein air landscape painting.’
    • ‘That is why for portraiture and outdoor photography in general, a yellow filter is often utilized to give a slightly darker rendering to blue values.’
    • ‘He had created a portrait that was in effect a whole treatise about portraiture as an art.’
    • ‘This exhibit focuses on the art genre of portraiture.’
    • ‘Working with different themes - aspects of genre, landscape, nudes and portraiture - each sets new parameters for the field.’
    • ‘As so much of their art, rooted in portraiture, stems from their personal relationships, this is hardly surprising.’
    • ‘The study of portraiture, for example, negotiates conceptions about the individual, identity, the self, and subjectivity - critical terms in Renaissance historiography.’
    • ‘The images, painted with only primary colors and white, range from expressionist portraiture to montages of time and space that combine multiple moments within the same page.’
    painting, picture, drawing, sketch, likeness, image, study, representation, portrayal, depiction, canvas
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Vivid and detailed description.
      ‘his strength as a novelist lay in his portraiture of upper-class families’
      • ‘In a perverse sense, it is more honest, where Eliot sneaks a couple of loathsome Jewish portraitures into his poetry, distorted so grossly that they are obviously despicable.’
      • ‘Mahendra Sinh thus accomplishes a social portraiture that illuminates the process by which self, time and place are constantly produced and re-made in the churn of history.’
      • ‘Ironically, when sources did in fact offer slaves a voice - as in the instances of travelers' diaries and portraitures of West Indies planters - white authors associated the expressions of blacks with cultural savagery.’
      • ‘It's a residue of ideological values and history, which renders these 10 object essays on social dynamics, context, still life and portraiture.’
      • ‘In America, this director's heartfelt portrait of a family in crisis, waits patiently for much of its running time before explicitly acknowledging its portraiture of spirituality in crisis.’
      • ‘While there are a few, very minor factual errors, the general span and scope of the book, not to mention the detailed portraiture of the ballerina in her world, are admirable.’
      • ‘The strong undertone of moral earnestness, never preached, gives a stability and force to the vivid portraiture, and prevents the satiric touches from degenerating into mere malice.’
    2. 1.2formal [count noun]A portrait.
      • ‘A better definition would hold that caricature is an artistic mode, usually in the form of a portraiture, in which the characteristic features of the subject are presented in a way that deforms or exaggerates their shape for comic effect.’
      • ‘These were no doubt portraitures of both heaven and earth, over which he, as their conqueror, was given all power.’
      • ‘The dominant trend in African American portraitures, however, has been created and nurtured by succeeding generations of white imagemakers, beginning as far back as the colonial era.’
      • ‘Undoubtedly, the author's unique use of newspapers, portraitures, plantation records and diaries, and traveler's accounts, allows readers to get a glimpse of slaves' own insights regarding their nightmarish circumstance.’
      • ‘Recently he has begun a portraiture project on people coming from and going to their place of worship.’
      • ‘The week before's outdoor session was rained off, but nothing daunted the members adjourned to the clubroom where an impromptu portraiture session was set up, with members being put through their paces by Michael O'Sullivan.’
      • ‘Like little portraitures and landscapes, they give the reader glimpses into people and places long since gone.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, from portrait (see portrait).