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The Portrait

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Guillaume Henri Dufour, by Jean de Humnicki Enlarge

Swiss General
(Jean de Humnicki, 1850, Public domain)

The Portrait

Before the advent of photography, the creation of portraits was possible only through the hand of the talented painter or sculptor. The first techniques of image capture were not very well adapted to the immortalization of human beings, as they could not faithfully depict bodies in movement.

The subjects therefore had to remain perfectly motionless for many long minutes to at last see their image forming on the medium. Over the course of time, exposure time constantly decreased, allowing photographers to create more interesting portraits in which the frozen expressions and positions of the models gradually yielded to naturalness.

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