From the Roman Coin to the Selfie: Portraiture through the Ages with Elaine Ruffolo

From the Roman Coin to the Selfie: Portraiture through the Ages with Elaine Ruffolo


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What profile picture do you have on your social media account? How do you want to be portrayed, regarded, and remembered? Portraiture is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago.

Portraiture is a very old art form going back to ancient Egypt, where it flourished about 5,000 years ago. Before the invention of photography, a painted, sculpted, or drawn portrait was the only way to record someone’s appearance. Portraits can represent individuals in many different ways. They can be literal representations of a person, or they can represent a person symbolically. But portraits have always been more than just a record. They have been used to show the power, importance, virtue, beauty, wealth, taste, learning, or other qualities of the sitter.

Led by an expert on Renaissance art, Elaine Ruffolo, this interactive seminar will explore the history of portraiture. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding that portraiture is more than just a depiction of a pretty face.

Elaine Ruffolo has been teaching art history in Florence for over 25 years and is a popular instructor for both students and adults. Her special interests include the economy and patronage of 15th century Italy and how it relates to art. Elaine firmly believes that the best way to understand a work of art is by exploring the context in which it was made. She holds an MA in art history.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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