Discover the reasons why portraits have played such an important part in the history of western art since Antiquity, and consider the role they have in shaping how individuals and societies see themselves.
Marcia Pointon is Professor Emeritus in art history at the University of Manchester, a Research Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and a Leverhulme Senior Research Fellow at the National Portrait Gallery. Previously, she was a professor at the University of Sussex and Pilkington Professor of History of Art at Manchester University. Her publications include Portrayal and the Search for Identity (2013); Brilliant Effects: A Cultural History of Gem Stones and Jewellery (2009), which won the Historians of British Art Book Prize in 2011; Strategies for Showing: Women, Possession and Representation in English Visual Culture 1665–1800 (1997); and Hanging the Head: Portraiture and Social Formation in Eighteenth-century England (1993). Her book Rocks, Ice and Dirty Stones: Diamond Histories will be published this year.
This lecture was recorded on April 6, 2016 at The Frick Collection, New York.