The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Tony Bevan Self-Portraits

Past display archive
24 March - 11 December 2011

Room 32


Tony Bevan
by Tony Bevan
NPG 6818

Tony Bevan (b.1951) is one of Britain’s most distinctive figurative painters. Since the early 1980s he has been making images in acrylic and charcoal that extend the tradition of expressive figure-based painting associated with such older painters as Francis Bacon and Frank Auerbach. Bevan’s singular approach focuses in particular on the human head which is frequently enlarged, often isolated, and usually abstracted by being reduced to a structure of vector-like lines and marks. Such taut, linear structures are descriptive but also evoke the artist’s exploration of character, mood and psychic states. Bevan’s approach to portraiture is thus inherently and assertively subjective, transforming literal appearance through the implication of complex and ambiguous emotion.

This display comprises a focused group of self-portraits made since the 1980s and succinctly traces the development of the artist’s interrogation of his own image as subject.

Buy the catalogue online

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Do, draw and make!

Do, draw and make!

From building dens to food faces – enjoy our Playful Portraits activities and find out about some brilliant people!

Get Creative

Healthcare Heroes

Activities for children and families inspired by three healthcare heroes from our Collection.

Learn together

Learning resources

Downloadable and web based resources to support learning at home linked to art, history, citizenship and literacy.

Get learning