por·​trai·​ture | \ˈpȯr-trə-ˌchu̇r, -chər, -ˌtyu̇r, -ˌtu̇r\

Definition of portraiture 

1 : the making of portraits : portrayal

2 : portrait

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Examples of portraiture in a Sentence

The museum is exhibiting portraiture from the late 19th century.

Recent Examples on the Web

Photo: The Frick Collection, New York Exhibited alone in the Frick Oval Room to replicate the original effect of the state house rotunda, Canova’s serene monument strikes an uneasy balance between the conflicting demands of portraiture and allegory. Barrymore Laurence Scherer, WSJ, "‘Canova’s George Washington’ Review: The Very Model of a Lost Masterpiece," 9 June 2018 Hurd was already decades into his successful career as a painter, specializing in portraiture and landscapes of the American Southwest. Zoe Sayler, Smithsonian, "The Presidential Portrait That Was the “Ugliest Thing” LBJ Ever Saw," 16 Feb. 2018 Now he is set for some 21st-century face time, thanks to the first major museum show devoted to his portraiture. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "A Modern Portraitist, Ahead of His Time," 6 July 2018 At a breakfast forum on Thursday at the New Albany Country Club, with its high ceilings and portraiture of dogs and horses, the candidates engaged in civil debate and essentially staked out orthodox positions of their parties. Michael Tackett, New York Times, "Door-Knocking Democrat Tries to Break G.O.P. Grip in Ohio Special Election," 13 July 2018 To the casual museumgoer, Georgian portraiture conjures stiff, self-satisfied images of frilly costumes and gravity-defying hairdos. Maxwell Carter, WSJ, "‘Gainsborough’ Review: A Special Light Shone Out of Him," 25 May 2018 Though European in origin, the mystique of Daguerre’s portraiture caught on in America like nowhere else. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "How Daguerreotype Photography Reflected a Changing America," 19 June 2018 Fassbinder juggles almost two dozen characters here, and the social portraiture equals anything else in his oeuvre. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "When Rainer Werner Fassbinder cheered up," 17 May 2018 Following the Civil War, portraiture helped to glamorize that transition by illustrating tough guys and girls who bore arms with self-confidence and swagger. Kim Sajet, Smithsonian, "How Portraiture Gave Rise to the Glamour of Guns," 23 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'portraiture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of portraiture

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for portraiture

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for portraiture

The first known use of portraiture was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of portraiture

: the art of making portraits

: portraits of people painted or drawn by artists

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