The Growing Popularity of Portraits

The Growing Popularity of Portraits

Leah Moss
Sep 17, 2010

Classic forms of art never go out of style, but recent years have seen a resurgence of portrait popularity. Apartment Therapy has discussed stranger's portraits, portraits in the bedroom, vintage portraits, pet portraits, and just about everything in between. What's clear is that portraits — like the living subjects themselves — never fail to elicit emotion.

While classically commissioned portraits of loved ones are still alive and well, the popular use of portraits today has a very broad scope of appeal. Take a tour of our House Tour archives, and you'll see everything from reverent portraits of ancestors to smatterings of amateur portraits displayed for ironic impact.

Like any work of art, how and where you display a portrait has a huge influence on how it is to be perceived. What may look moody and old world unframed beside a bed as in picture 9 can look comical and lighthearted when accompanied by the right accessories — the chalkboards in picture 1. Likewise the same formal portrait hung over a mantel will look totally different hung unexpectedly in a bathroom (picture 2) or similarly unusual place. Unlike many groupings, a group of portraits (pictures 3-6) will have a less intense impact than portraits displayed alone (pictures 10, 11). Grouped with other pieces of art in a salon style display (picture 7), a portrait will become an instant focus as well as an anchor to group.

What are your favorite portrait uses?

Images: 1: Design*Sponge, 2, 3, 5: Leah Moss of Old Lucketts, Viteri's House Tour, Artist Spotlight Nicole Bourgea, 4: Rue, 6: Cote de Texas, 7: Thom Filicia, 8: Desire to Inspire, 9: Twig Hutchinson, 10: Apartment Therapy: LA of The Brick House, 11: Domino, 12: Elle Decor

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