Gothic designates an epoch of painting and architecture from the 12th until the 16th century. Mostly religious motifs are depicted but also secular motifs as scenes from court life can be found. Among the great names of gothic are Hieronymus Bosch, Giotto, and Matthias Grünewald, who created the paintings of the Isenheim Altar.
The portrait emphasizes the individual features (of a certain person) or the typical features (the depicted person as representative of his class or estate). At the beginning of the portrait painting there was the whole figure, then the restriction to the upper half of the person followed (half-figure) and finally to the face (bust portrait). Profile and front view are the common forms of presentation. Until the 14th century the individual effigy was of less importance – portraits were symbols of an office or an estate represented by the depicted person. The emphasis on the true physiognomic composition of a face, thus the “discovery of the individual” in fine arts is due to Renaissance.