Fine Art - Exhibitions

Gainsborough’s Family Album

Featuring over 50 portraits by the 18th-century master Thomas Gainsborough (1727–88) – of himself, his wife, his daughters and other close relatives – this ‘family album’ accompanies the first major exhibition devoted to this remarkable and highly personal aspect of the artist’s work.

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Michael Jackson: On the Wall

Michael Jackson, one of the most successful recording artists of all time, also has the distinction of being the most depicted cultural figure; an inspiration for an extraordinary array of leading artists. This book, which accompanies a major exhibition, examines their artistic responses to an enduring international icon.

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Cézanne Portraits

This book, like the exhibition it accompanies, looks at the special pictorial and thematic characteristics of Cézanne’s portraiture practice, including his creation of complementary pairs and multiple versions of the same subject.

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Paul Cézanne Painting People

In bringing together a broad selection of Cézanne’s portraits, the book reveals arguably the most personal, and therefore most human, aspect of his art, and one that has hitherto received surprisingly little attention.

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Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017

This book provides a unique opportunity to see an inspiring range of portraits from contemporary photographers selected from thousands of submissions.

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The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt

Recording likeness was fundamental to the idea of the Renaissance, and capturing lifelike figures in highly resolved paintings and sculptures relied upon accurate observational skills in drawing. Fine-tuning these skills allowed artists to capture the world as they experienced it, recreating accurate perspective and proportion. Highly skilled artists across Europe varied their approach to these principles, and the range of materials to hand meant that drawings from this period, fifty of which are beautifully reproduced in this book

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Picasso Portraits

Depicting people in his intimate circle rather than working to commission enabled Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) to take an expressive, radically experimental approach to making portraits. Co-published with the Museu Picasso, Barcelona, this book examines the contrasting modes of his portraiture (from formal, posed portraits to witty caricatures), his sources of inspiration and the complex motivation behind his defiance of representational norms.

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Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends

Howard Hodgkin is internationally recognised as one of Britain’s leading artists. Hodgkin was awarded the Turner Prize in 1985, a year after representing Great Britain at the Venice Biennale and solo exhibitions of his work have been held in Europe and the USA – including major retrospectives at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, the Metropolitan Museum, New York and Tate Britain, London. This book accompanies the first exhibition to focus on Hodgkin’s portraits.

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Russia and the Arts

This book highlights some of the extraordinary developments that took place in Russian culture between 1867 and 1914, a time of vibrant creativity and political change. Beautifully illustrated with key works from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, it features portraits of writers, composers, musicians and actors, together with their more flamboyant patrons, and explores the rich relationships that these cultural trailblazers forged.

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500 Portraits

The BP Portrait Award is the world’s leading showcase for painters working in portraiture. This revised and updated edition of 500 Portraits brings together more than 500 portraits from twenty-five years of the Award. Featuring works by the world’s leading figurative artists, this book celebrates our enduring fascination with the human face.

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BP Portrait Award 2018

Featuring works from an international list of artists, the BP Portrait Award highlights the vitality of portrait painting today. This book presents the diverse range of styles in contemporary portraiture and the variety of techniques used by artists working in the field today.

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BP Portrait Award 2017

Featuring works from an international list of artists, the BP Portrait Award highlights the vitality of portrait painting today. This book presents the diverse range of styles in contemporary portraiture and the variety of techniques used by artists working in the field today.

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BP Portrait Award 2016

Featuring works from an international list of artists, the BP Portrait Award highlights the vitality of portrait painting today. This book presents the diverse range of styles in contemporary portraiture and the variety of techniques used by artists working in the field today.

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BP Portrait Award 2015

Featuring works from an international list of artists, the BP Portrait Award highlights the vitality of portrait painting today. This book presents the diverse range of styles in contemporary portraiture and the variety of techniques used by artists working in the field today.

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Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends

John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) was the leading American portrait painter of his generation. This book showcases his portraits of artists, writers, actors and musicians, many of whom he knew well.

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BP Portrait Award 2014

The definitive guide to costume in the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection, examining the fundamental importance of fashion in portraiture in fascinating detail, with expert insight and over 250 full-colour images.

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Laura Knight Portraits

A long overdue reappraisal of an outstanding and pioneering female artist, featuring over 35 of her finest works from across her vast and prolific career, demonstrating both the remarkable variety of her subjects and her consummate skills as an artist.

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Lucian Freud: Painting People

The National Portrait Gallery’s series of compact, fully illustrated, historical guides to literary and artistic personalities and themes. Written by well-known contemporary authors, they examine the lives, thoughts and relationships within each selected group through works from the Gallery’s Collection.

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Lucian Freud: Portraits

Lucian Freud was one of the world’s greatest realist painters. This new, authoritative survey of Freud’s portraits and figure paintings explores his work across seven decades, from the early 1940s to his death in 2011. The book features over 130 paintings, drawings and etchings selected in close collaboration with the artist.

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