Woman from Brassempouy

30000 BCE

A figure that symbolized fertility and beauty in women. It was another piece of art that fell under the category of portraits. The artist of this piece seemed to at least slightly understand the contours of the human face. During this period in time, artists did not understand the concept of portraiture as much as artists in future dates.
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First "Painted" Portrait Unknown

25000 BCE

This cave painting is believed to be the earliest known portrait, from Angoulême, France. It showed that humans in this time period made art just like we do in present day. The lines on the cave wall signify an eye connected with a nose. Below, the mouth, is marked with a single line.

Human Figure from Ain Ghazal, Jordan

6750 BCE

Portraiture, as one can see, dates far back into the BC era and seemed to be an important art form. The human face seems to have been studied and the artist clearly tries to mimic the natural contours and lines of the human facial anatomy.


1353 BCE

Nefertiti was Akhenaton’s wife; she was known to be influential during her time. Historians note that this bust of Nefertiti was exaggerated to conform to the standards of beauty in this era. The long slender neck, the large heavy-looking crown, even the contours on her face show that the artist took great care and time to sculpt this portrait.

Queen Tiye

1353 BCE

Queen Tiye was Akhenaton’s mother; her portrait is especially unique due to the fact that it shows true aging. She was the chief wife of Amenhotep III and daughter of a high-ranking official. This statue illustrates her beauty yet shows that she ages just as everyone else. Her face is stern and powerful, almost signifying as if she had a large amount of influence just as Nefertiti did. This small head of Tiye came from the Amarna period during Ca. 1353 – 1355, the same time as Nefertiti’s bust.
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Portrait Bust of a Flavian Woman

90 BCE

Roman and Greek art was very advanced in this age. portraits, sculptures, and human figures were created with amazingly accurate realism. Small details were painstakingly carved into each piece and art was made to look like it could come alive. This art has been lost through the ages, yet it is still admired to this day. Portraiture was a very beautiful art form in this age.


Funerary relief with portraits of Gessii

30 BCE

Republic Era. Relief portraits of a late-man. Individuals who were of high standards had their portraits carved onto their graves as a reminder of how they looked like and of the power they had. The more powerful the individual, the more detail would be put into the art. Some even had entire stories of their lives depicted on their tombs.

Mona Lisa


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Portrait of George Washington


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