ARH 385 The Portrait from Pharaoh to Facebook

The portrait is perhaps the most familiar form of visual representation. From private portraits to public propaganda, from the artistic expression of the self-portrait to the production and potential manipulation of digital photographic portraits, portraiture is a nearly inescapable phenomenon. Yet a simple definition of portraiture remains maddeningly elusive. Moreover, its familiarity, rooted in its association with likeness - the ability to match sitter with subject - masks the fascinating and complex history of the genre. This class explores the history of portraiture across time and culture, challenging students to think more critically about how we construct the self.