Here are some of the most Famous Family Portrait Paintings in History. Over the years paintings and especially portraits have made their mark on the art scene. It has been the tradition in the past and the custom continues of having the whole family being captured in a painting or photo. Since we are talking about the historical significance of art, in this article we will be looking at portraits, especially family portraits.
Getting the family together and commissioning a portrait of the whole family is a custom that dates back to the past. Earlier getting portrait painted was restricted to the uber rich, later on the middle class also started indulging in this practice. Even today artists are asked to paint portraits by all sorts of people, organizations and groups.
In this article we will look at the most well-known family portraits:
Princess Alice and family posthumous portrait: This portrait is interesting as it shows only 2 of her daughters along with a son, whereas she is supposed to have had 4 daughters. In the picture you can see her oldest daughter Victoria and Princess Irene. The ones not in the picture are Tsarina Alexandra and Grand Duchess Ella.
The Royal Family in 1846: The epitome of serene domesticity this portrait shows Queen Victoria as monarch and matriarch of the family. The prince of Wales looks resplendent in a Russian Style attire while his royal sisters (Princess Victoria, Princess Alice and baby Princess Helena) are seen sitting near the King. The young prince Alfred dressed in a skirted outfit is seen walking towards his sisters. The consort of the queen, Prince Albert is seen in Court attire. This portrait was done by Franz Xaver Winterhalter.
Spanish royal family in 1656: Created by Diego Velazquez, this portrait is a little unclear in its depiction. There was the reality of the royals and some mirror reflections. There is the little princess being attended to by her assistants, the artist himself and there is the monarch himself at the back.
Goya ‘Charles IV and his Family’, 1800: Dressed in their best clothing this painting depicts the family of Charles IV of Spain. There have been many discussions about the painting one of them being about the placement of Queen Louisa in the center of the painting being an indication that she is the real power behind the throne.
The Royal Family of France in the Prison of the Temple in 1792-1851: This is a painting of Queen Marie Antoinette and her family after the revolution. It depicts them in the prison of the temple.
King James II: The depiction of the royal family in this portrait is natural and very beautifully done. The colors and activities in the portrait look natural and quite realistic to the times then.
Judge Jeffries: This is a court scene which also has a lot of people, lawyers, and a woman with a child and many others standing around while the judge passes judgment.
La famille Léonard: This is a painting by Hyacinthe Rigaud depicts a couple who are richly attired along with a cute cherub of a child sitting there. It manages to depict the richness and decadence of the era.
Modello painting of the royal family of Naples and the Two Sicilies: It is a portrait of the royal family from Naples and two Sicilies. It has Maria Amalia, Prince Franz, Ferdinand IV, Maria Karoline, Maria Christina, Prince Januarius, Maria Luisa and Maria Teresa.
The Potato Eaters: This is a famous painting of Dutch farmers having dinner at a rustic table. The dark lighting and the look on the faces of the diners tells a story of its own.