Christie's Images/Corbis View on Corbis
Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis View on Corbis
Smithsonian Institution/Corbis View on Corbis
Araldo de Luca/Corbis View on Corbis
Monarchs and muses, artists and bruisers – renderings of human faces are as old as art itself. They’re carved into marble, rendered in oil paint, printed, and photographed, and they record the features of some of the best-known (and notorious) characters in history. The best portraits reveal as much about the artists and their place in art history as the subjects.
This painting of Joan of Arc by Dante Gabriel Rossetti is a classic work by one of the world’s first “avant-garde” artists. Rossetti founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848, which was a group of English painters, poets, and critics who rejected what they considered conventional art in favor of a colorful, complex style. Rossetti’s portrait of French heroine Joan of Arc is a sensuous, sumptuous, and highly personal portrayal of passion and vision.
Corbis maintains the world’s largest biographical library. If someone led a country, started a revolution, sat on a throne, wrote a classic book, or committed a major crime, we’ll have their portrait.