Portraiture as an art form is more complex than is suggested by its definition. A. The definitions of portrait art in the dictionary have regularly transformed throughout the years to reflect shifting attitudes regarding the genre. B. Portrait art should be considered as a distinct artistic genre due to its intense occupation with the subject and the way in which it was produced. C. Beginning in the Renaissance and continuing into the start of the nineteenth century, portrait art was idealized to a greater degree than it is in today. D. Portraits generally mirror the conventions of the time rather than the unique qualities of the individual. E. Throughout history, the majority of professional artists avoided portrait art since they regarded it as a mechanical art form, and not as fine art. F. Portrait art was at times viewed in a negative light since it was considered as simple copying void of artistic innovation.