History of Family Portraiture

Portraiture has been a favorite pastime of humans for ages. Even back to the 1500s, portraiture was desired by social elites. Even back then, portraiture artists tried to represent the families and the individuals as they are. Sometimes, portraiture to tell a specific story with the scene that they portray. Historically, family portraiture has focused on the family lineage with extended family members present. Five major thematic areas of portraiture found in British culture were inheritance, childhood, parenting, couple and kinship, and home. They would even incorporate a black framed portrait of a deceased family member in the new portrait!

However, as photographic technology became more accessible across social groups, and the nuclear family became more prominent that the extended family, a shift in family portraiture came about. Instead of complex backgrounds with family members packed into the frame, it became a focused on three or four individuals in the family, less posed for the camera in more of a natural setting.



The benefit of this change was that more and more about families and family life could be documented. The downside is that the art of portraiture started to decline. A thousand snapshots of a lifetime, but the great part of portraiture -- the part where you truly capture the essence of someone and can pass it down through the family as a real family heirloom -- this was fading. The transitions of portrait styles can tell us much about how the national and cultural social structure and values have shifted through time, all dependent on who or what, is the focus of the painting or portrait.

In today’s world, fine portraiture is a growing area of art, combining vintage portrait workmanship, attention to detail, and posing with the more comfortable, and less hierarchical approach to life that we have now. In many cases, as such with Caitlyn Bom Fine Art Portraiture, technology is used to craft and enhance the colors, contrast, and style of our portraits. Here at CB Fine Art Portraiture, we infuse the latest technology with the historical methods to create beautiful artwork that shows the love and connection between families. All this careful work culminates into a stunning canvas rendition of the portrait’s subjects and surrounding.

But with all the advanced technology aside, there is still something very wonderful that touches the heart with fine family portraiture. It captures those precious moments of a family gathered together, and that truly is something great and worthwhile!