Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(2,593 words)

1. Concept and role

The term “portrait” (French portrait; German Porträt; Italian ritratto; Spanish retrato) is derived from the Latin protrahere (to draw forth; to produce). German also still uses the synonymous Bildnis, but Konterfei has become archaic (from the Latin contra facere, “set in opposition/contrast,” and French contrefaire, “imitate”; see Contrafaction). The Sketchbook of Villard de Honnecourt (c. 1230) already contains the terms portrait and contrefais al vif, …

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Kanz, Roland, “Portrait”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 30 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025747>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

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