press release

The first large-scale exploration of self-portrait painting in oils, spanning 500 years of art history and featuring iconic works from major international collections.

SELF PORTRAIT: Renaissance to Contemporary begins with the 16th century paintings of Allesandro Allori and Sofonisba Anguissola and ends with works by Gerhard Richter and Chuck Close. Visitors will enjoy many portraits never before seen in Australia. The appeal of this genre of painting is well known, and this exhibition explores the diversity of the image through which the artist is represented.

This major exhibition brings together 49 painted self-portraits by many of the world's greatest artists from 1550 right up to the present day. Works by artists renowned for their self-portraits, such as Rubens, Velasquez, Vincent van Gogh and Frida Kahlo will be included alongside works by lesser known artists, such as Johannes Gumpp and Giovan Battista Sassoferato, whose self-portraits are of exceptional quality and interest. The international range of artists represented includes Annibale Carracci, Jacob Jordaens, Judith Leyster, William Hogarth, Pierre Bonnard, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Edward Hopper and Sidney Nolan, to name but a few.

SELF PORTRAIT: Renaissance to Contemporary shows the development of this genre over 500 years and the particular importance of the technology of oil paint to its development. The exhibition includes seven early works from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, where the "Vasari corridor" is the most important and famous collection of self-portraits in the world. Other important loans come from the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, The Royal Collection, The National Gallery and the Tate Gallery, London.

A new large self-portrait by the American artist Chuck Close is being painted for the exhibition.

This exhibition is jointly organised by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and the National Portrait Gallery, London. It is curated by Anthony Bond, Head Curator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Dr Joanna Woodall, Deputy Director of the Courtauld Institute.

Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, says, "We are all fascinated by how artists have looked at themselves. The exhibition examines questions of consciousness and identity, by showing how artists chose to paint their own image. A number of collections have been very generous with some very important loans."

Edmund Capon, Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, says "This study of painting over 500 years focuses on artists' self portraits and, in the process, it reveals a great deal about how artists think about representation and creativity."

Rob Priestley, Managing Director and Senior Country Officer for JPMorgan Australia and New Zealand, sponsor of this major exhibition, says, "JPMorgan is proud to partner with the Art Gallery of New South Wales in bringing to Australia this exceptional selection of self portraits."


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Renaissance to Contemporary
Organisation: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; National Portrait Gallery, London
Kuratoren: Anthony Bond, Joanna Woodall

Künstler: Allesandro Allori, Cristofano Allori, Sofonisba Anguissola, Francis Bacon, Georg Baselitz, Pierre Bonnard, Annibale Carracci, Paul Cézanne, Giorgio De Chirico, Chuck Close, Lovis Corinth, Gustave Courbet, Edgar Degas, Gerrit Dou, Marlene Dumas, Anthonis van Dyck, Jan van Eyck, Gerlach Flicke, Lavinia Fontana, Lucian Freud, Artemisia Gentileschi, Vincent van Gogh, Johannes Gumpp, Richard Hamilton, William Hogarth, Edward Hopper, Jacob Jordaens, Frida Kahlo, Angelica Kauffmann, Leon Kossoff, Pieter-Jacobsz van Laer, Sabine Lepsius, Judith Leyster, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Sidney Nolan, Rembrandt, Joshua Reynolds, Gerhard Richter, John N. Robinson, Salvator Rosa, Peter Paul Rubens, Giovan Battista Salvi Sassoferrato, Jenny Saville, Christian Schad, Francis Newton Souza, Stanley Spencer, Anna Dorothea Therbusch, Hans Thoma, Charley Toorop, Diego Velázquez, Suzanne Valadon, Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun, Andy Warhol, Adriaen van de Werff, James McNeill Whistler, Johann Zoffany ...

20.10.05 - 29.01.06 National Portrait Gallery, London
17.02.06 - 14.05.06 Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney