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

Mirror Mirror: Self-portraits by women artists

Doris Zinkeisen
by Doris Zinkeisen
exhibited 1929
NPG 6487

Past exhibition archive
12 September 2001 - 20 January 2002

Studio Gallery

Admission Free

 

Virtual tour of the exhibition
(best seen with set screen resolution to 1024 x 768)
Publication| Links

The self-portrait has always been an artist's most intriguing vehicle for analysis and self-expression. This exhibition brings together all of the self-portraits by women artists from the Gallery's collection alongside loans and new works acquired or commissioned  by the Gallery  for this exhibition

Spanning four centuries, the exhibition includes work by 40 artists, from the mid 17th century to the present day. It features works in all media, including oil painting, photography, prints drawings and sculpture. Highlights of the exhibition include self-portraits by major artists and photographers such as Mary Beale, Gwen John, Barbara Hepworth, Lee Miller, Eileen Agar, Laura Knight and Maggi Hambling. Lesser-known figures are also represented - Lallie Charles, the Zinkeisen sisters, Helen Chadwick, and an astonishing self-portrait ceramic relief by Susie Cooper.

Several contemporary artists have contributed work to the exhibition including Yolanda Sonnabend, Elizabeth Blackadder, Victoria Crowe, Jennifer McRae and Daphne Todd.

The unusual freedom offered to the artist by the dual roles of subject and creator allows the viewer a unique opportunity to see the artist represented in their own terms. The exhibition introduces the history and function of the self-portrait and raises questions of identity, style and technique as well as exploring social, historical and gender issues.

 

Discover

Scientific techniques

Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.

Watch now

Subjects and themes

Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!

Discover the Collection


Black History Month

Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.

Take the tour

A Picture of Health

Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.

Explore the timeline