A portrait is a painting , photograph , sculpture , or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality , and even the mood of the person. For this reason, in photography a portrait is generally not a snapshot , but a composed image of a person in a still position. A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the painter or photographer, in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer.
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1560s, "a figure, drawn or painted," a back formation from portraiture or directly from Middle French portrait , from Old French portret (13c.), noun use of past participle of portraire "to paint, depict" (see portray ). Especially of the head and face of a person.
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