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Portraits: From Antiquity to the “Selfie” - Elaine Ruffolo

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Portraits: From Antiquity to the “Selfie” by Elaine Ruffolo
Slide illustrated presentation followed by hands-on project

Discover why portraits have played such an important role in the history of western art and consider the part they have played in shaping how individuals and societies see themselves today. Most people never stop to wonder why we have people's faces on coins, paintings, magazine covers, and billboards. The history of portraiture in the West is a fascinating study of the way in which individuals in diverse cultures portray themselves. From the ancient world to the modern “selfie,” join Art Historian, Elaine Ruffolo, for an exploration of the development of portraiture right up to today. Following the presentation, take pen to paper and design your own self-portrait, followed by an interpretation of selected designs. No artistic capabilities required for this fun hands-on activity.

Elaine Ruffolo has been teaching art history in Florence, Italy since 1989 and is a popular instructor for both students and adults alike.  Her special interests include the patronage and economy of Renaissance city-states.  Ruffolo firmly supports the idea that the best way to fully understand a work of art is by exploring the context in which it was made including the political situation, economic conditions, patronage, and the artist's personality. Through this approach, the past comes alive for the viewer.