The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini

Masterpieces of Renaissance portraiture are on view in a new exhibition opening at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, through March 18, 2012.

Portrait of an Old Man and a Boy (ca 1490; tempera on wood, 24.75x18.25) by Domenico Ghirlandaio (Domenica Bigordi, 1448/49-1494, Florence). Département des Peintures, Musée du Louvre, Paris

From the press release:
The first great age of portraiture in Europe, both north and south of the Alps, took place in the 15th century.  For the first time since antiquity, portraits were used to record the features of a family member for future generations, celebrate a prince or warrior, extol the beauty of a woman, or make possible the exchange of a likeness among friends.  The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from December 21, 2011, through March 18, 2012, will celebrate the Italian contribution to this rediscovery of the individual in art.  It will bring together approximately 160 works—by artists including Donatello, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Verrocchio, Ghirlandaio, Pisanello, Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini, and Antonello da Messina— media ranging from painting and manuscript illumination to marble sculpture and bronze medals, testifying to the new vogue for and uses of portraiture in 15th-century Italy.

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