Fancy portrait is an art historical term for an imaginary portrait of a real or literary character. The fancy portrait takes the form of a conventional portrait but is defined by the fact that its depiction of the character is derived from the artist's imagination rather than any authentic record of the person's appearance. Though imaginary portraits of historical characters have existed since antiquity, the term came into use in the nineteenth century, when "portraits" of literary characters became popular, and were widely reproduced in the form of engravings. It was also applied commonly to humorous caricatures and later to photographs in which the subjects adopt imaginary personas.
Famous quotes containing the words portrait and/or fancy:
“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.”
—Oscar Wilde (18541900)
“Our ideas are the offspring of our senses; we are not more able to create the form of a being we have not seen, without retrospect to one we know, than we are able to create a new sense. He whose fancy has conceived an idea of the most beautiful form must have composed it from actual existence.”
—Henry Fuseli (17411825)