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Portrait of the Artist

Banner for Portrait of the Artist Exhibition
This exhibition is in the past. View our current exhibitions.
  • This event is in the past
    Daily (Friday 4 Nov 2016 - Sunday 16 Apr 2017)

The first exhibition to focus on images of artists from within the Royal Collection, Portrait of the Artist not only showcases self-portraits by world-renowned artists including Rembrandt, Rubens, Artemisia Gentileschi, Lucian Freud and David Hockney but also features images of artists by their friends, relatives and pupils, including the most reliable surviving likeness of Leonardo da Vinci by his student, Francesco Melzi. Well-known self-portraits intended to advertise the artist's talents are shown alongside more intimate and personal works.

The exhibition examines a range of themes played out within these objects, from the 'cult' of the artist to the symbolism evoked through images of the artist’s studio. The changing status of the artist over the centuries is another theme and the way in which this is conveyed, both in the physical works and in the relationships between artist and patron is highlighted. The role of monarchs in commissioning, collecting and displaying portraits of artists is discussed. 

Portrait of the Artist contains over 300 objects, including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and decorative arts ranging in date from the 15th to the 21st century.

Highlight objects

    Schools sessions

    Key stages 2, 3, 4 & 5
    Creative Writing workshop

    Learn about inspiring Creative Writing from works of art

    Key stage 2, 3 & 4
    Learning to look at Portraits

    Learn how to look at an historical image and analyse the clues and narratives portrayed

    Key stage 2, 3 & 4
    The art of sketchbooks

    An artist led class looking at developing pupils' own skills and understanding of works in the exhibition

    The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.