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  • Irene Bailey

The Real Value of Fine Art Oil Portraits

Updated: Jun 29, 2019


Hand-painted Portraits are one of the oldest art forms in history. Dating back to ancient Egypt, having a portrait created was a way to memorialize an individual, usually one of great importance or social stature.


Although the art form itself is defined as a mere “representation of a specific person,” those who paint the portraits and those whose portraits are painted, know it’s about so much more. Having your portrait painted is to have your soul immortalized; to have not just your likeness, but your personality shine through. When you look into the eyes of Mona Lisa, you see so much more than paint on a wood panel-it’s as if she has a secret that she’ll hide for all of eternity.


While it’s true that Fine Art Oil Portraits are monetarily valuable, the deeper value comes from a deeper place. There is more finite detail that can be pulled into a portrait to accurately represent the individual being painted. An artist can add in momentos, personal items from a person’s life, pets or even passed family members that can all help bring the portrait to life. While some say a picture is worth a thousand words, a hand-painted portrait tells a more compelling story.


The value of a person’s emotional connection to a fine art oil portrait is very high. When the rich history of the portrait is understood and then an individual sees a loved one immortalized in that way, a deep connection is formed. The realization that their loved one is now a part of this storied history, will often move them to tears. The portrait becomes an instant family heirloom, one that will be passed from generation to generation.


Hand-painted portraits also capture a culture in a way that photography can’t. With each century that passes, the art form evolves to reflect the time in which it was painted. Compare “The Girl with a Pearl Earring”, painted by ‎Johannes Vermeer in 1665, and “Portrait of Doctor Samuel Johnson” painted by Kehinde Wiley in 2009. They each clearly represent the time they were created in. When you look at each, you get an idea of life must have been like during those periods of time and what their culture valued.








Are you considering having your portrait painted? Contact me today and let’s discuss your ideas and thoughts. I’d love to capture your life on my canvas.



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© 2015, Irene Bailey. All rights reserved.

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