The period in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, that was characterized by a renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman art, philosophy, and science. Renaissance began in italy and spread over other european countries. It prefered motives from greek and roman mythology. Taking great interest in natural sciences and the individual human being, renaissance painters began to protray human beings and their environment in a more realistic manner. The portait became one of the typical forms of renaissance art.
The portrait emphasizes the individual features (of a certain person) or the typical features (the depicted person as representative of his class or estate). At the beginning of the portrait painting there was the whole figure, then the restriction to the upper half of the person followed (half-figure) and finally to the face (bust portrait). Profile and front view are the common forms of presentation. Until the 14th century the individual effigy was of less importance – portraits were symbols of an office or an estate represented by the depicted person. The emphasis on the true physiognomic composition of a face, thus the “discovery of the individual” in fine arts is due to Renaissance.