Single Figures

Images of single figures were used in a variety of ways. Artists made tronies, or head studies, as experiments in capturing expressions or the fall of light. Religious figures represented the spiritual realm, inspiring the viewer to piety or contemplation. Images of shepherds and shepherdesses evoked the idyll of Arcadia, a rural paradise extolled by ancient Greek and Roman poets. Cloaking figures in various guises also gave artists license to paint titillating female nudes within sanctioned contexts.

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