Today when we look at a portrait of a famous person, we expect to see certain things such as a realistic view of their physical characteristics. We would also expect to be able to read something of their character: humour, intelligence, or quiet reflection. All-in-all the portrait should reflect something of the subject's inner self. In stark contrast are the portraits of the Middle Ages. The main aim of medieval artists was to record the subject as they wanted to be remembered for posterity. The artist would rarely attempt to record the person's features accurately, and the picture revealed little about their personality. Smiling was regarded as frivolous, and these portraits served principally to emphasise their subject's power and piety.This new book examines portraits from the years 700 to 1600. Beginning with the break with classical Roman art that ushered in the style of medieval portraiture, it continues through to the development of naturalistic portraits in the Renaissance. Sumptuously illustrated in colour on every page, this is a fascinating and highly readable look at some of the most intriguing portraits of the past.--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.