Artists in the Frame: Self-Portraits by Van Dyck and Others
Manchester Art Gallery
Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL, United Kingdom

Sir Anthony Van Dyck’s last Self-Portrait is one of the most remarkable self-portraits ever painted in Britain. Refined and elegant with an exuberant gilded frame it is a powerful statement of artistic identity and status – here is the celebrated court painter of Charles I who changed portraiture in Britain and transformed social perceptions of the artist from artisan to creative genius. This summer, the portrait will be the highlight of an exhibition of artists’ self-portraits at Manchester Art Gallery.

Artists in the Frame explores identity and self-expression. See self-portraits by artists including Van Dyck, William Hogarth, Angelica Kauffman, Wyndham Lewis, Sarah Lucas, Julian Opie and Grayson Perry. Why have these artists put themselves ‘in the frame’? Are dress, pose, setting, props and framing significant to their self-presentation? Do symbols and other visual clues point to who they really are?

Spanning over 300 years up until the present day and featuring photographs, paintings, digital and graphic works this is a unique opportunity to see self-portraits from the gallery’s collection alongside loans from the National Portrait Gallery and contemporary artists.

This exhibition is organised in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, with support from the Art Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Van Dyck’s Self-portrait was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery following a major public appeal with the Art Fund and thanks to the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and others. Further information about Van Dyck, the portrait, and the tour can be found here.


1. Self-portrait by Sir Anthony van Dyck, c.1640 © National Portrait Gallery, London

2. Louise Jopling Self Portrait 1877 ©Manchester City Galleries

3. Brian Griffin bromide print, 1988, (detail) National Portrait Gallery © Brian Griffin

4. Angelica Kauffmann oil on canvas, c. 1770-1775 National Portrait Gallery © National Portrait Gallery, London

5. Julian Opie (‘Julian with T-shirt’) LCD screen with integrated software, 2005 National Portrait Gallery © Julian Opie


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