What is Modern Portrait Painting – MOMA Learning

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What Is Modern Art?


Late-19th-century artists broke with tradition to create art for the modern age.

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Modern Portraits

Painting Modern Life

Explore how early modern artists forged new directions in painting.

Rise of the Modern City

Discover the ways in which artists, photographers, and architects changed the landscape of modern cities.

Modern Landscapes

Discover groundbreaking techniques in early modern landscape paintings.

Modern Portraits

Explore how early modern painters pushed the boundaries of traditional portraiture.

Popular Culture

Learn about the influence of early forms of posters and advertising on art.

Portraits can represent individuals in many different ways. They can be literalrepresentations of a person or they can represent a person symbolically. By the turn of the 20th century, photographs had become the most accessible and popular mode of portraiture. As though freed from the burden of realism, portrait painters of the time began to explore new ways to represent people, breaking with the literal and representational portrait of the previous era.

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