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El retrato/ The Portrait by Pierre and Galienne Francastel

El retrato/ The Portrait is a book by French art historians Pierre and Galienne Francastel, published in 1978 by Catedra Ediciones. The book explores the history and theory of portrait painting, from ancient times to the modern era, and analyzes the social and psychological aspects of this artistic genre.

The authors examine the evolution of portrait painting in different cultures and periods, such as Egypt, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, Renaissance Italy, France, Spain, England, Germany, Russia, and America. They also discuss the influence of various artistic movements and styles on portrait painting, such as realism, impressionism, expressionism, cubism, surrealism, and pop art.


The book also offers a critical reflection on the role and function of portrait painting in society, as well as its relation to identity, memory, power, and representation. The authors argue that portrait painting is not only a form of artistic expression, but also a way of communicating and revealing the personality, character, and emotions of the portrayed subject.

El retrato/ The Portrait is a comprehensive and insightful study of one of the most fascinating and complex forms of art. It is a valuable resource for anyone interested in art history, aesthetics, sociology, psychology, or cultural studies.

You can buy the book from Amazon or download it as a PDF for free.

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