Art History Day School - To be or seem to be: self portrait strategies and techniques

Art History Day School - To be or seem to be: self portrait strategies and techniques

14 May 2022


RWA, Queens Road, Bristol BS81PX


14 May 2022

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To be or seem to be: self-portrait strategies and techniques

Saturday 14 May 2022, 10am – 4:00pm

Lectures by Dr Justine Hopkins, with Exhibition Tour led by curator Tessa Jackson OBE

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Since the Renaissance artists have used the self portrait to study themselves: to celebrate success, exorcise failure or simply reflect on the changes brought by the passing years. When we look at a self portrait we are given a unique window, not only into the artist’s personal ambitions and doubts, but also the world, times and society in which they worked. This study day explores a genre unlike any other, which has encouraged artists through the ages to push boundaries and challenge convention, and continues to do so to this day.

Course Leader: Dr Hopkins is a freelance lecturer in Art History. Previously, she has lectured at the Victoria and Albert Museum; Bristol, London, Oxford and Cambridge Universities; the Tate, National and National Portrait Galleries; Sotheby's, Christies' and assorted independent institutions, and is a registered lecturer for NADFAS.

Curator: Tessa Jackson OBE is a curator and director with a history of working in museums, galleries and the contemporary visual arts, in both the UK and internationally. Recent activity and clients include British Council, Creative Scotland, Heong Gallery - Cambridge and National Portrait Gallery.


  • 10.30 Exhibition tour 
  • 11.30 Coffee
  • 11.50 Person/Persona: explorations and introductions
  • 1.00 Lunch
  • 2.00 Self/Symbol: the artist as actor
  • 3.10 Tea
  • 3.30 Through the looking-glass: self portrait mysteries and magic
  • 4.30 Close
Reserve your place using the 'Add to basket' button above. Please note that spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


Image:  Michael Ayrton The Terrace at Night 1957-8 (oil & ripolin on board)  National Portrait Gallery  [copyright Justine Hopkins]


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