Once, the act of having your appearance copied was only for the rich and famous. A person instructed in painting, specially oil painting, would sketch, then paint, the person who he or she was commissioned to make a portrait for. The model would go for a few sittings, and although the result might take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, a masterpiece representing the subject would emerge. In fact, in the hierarchy of genres, the portrait rated second after history paintings. The amount of detail that went into making a person come to life, as well as the background, required considerable education. Learn about the portrait and all that was involved in its creation.