Portraits play a part in the emergence and establishment of social hierarchies by composing images of individuals and groups, constructing cultural and political networks or creating individual and collective
pasts. Portrait culture is a social practice with very specific elements, which are subjected to continuous historical change. The conference proceedings in this volume are devoted to the portrait as a social medium and cultural practice – distinguished by contexts of use and function that characterize a work’s pictorial form and material composition. In the essays, portraits and portrait ensembles are examined in specific historical contexts, taking into account their embedding in concrete actions and discourses. The volume addresses the spatial localization and social Identification of a genre, which essentially exists from the mobility and adaptability of its medium.