Depictions of artists date back to Ancient Egypt, though they were still treated as craftsmen up to the Renaissance when they started to assert their independence. From the wide variety of artists’ portraits in the NGI Collection over five centuries, this selection highlights their working practice and different ways their appearance is shown. Images in the studio show the working tools of both painters and a rare one of a sculptor. Some are in specifically designed studios, others an adapted room. Portraits of artists posed with a brush are more emphatic statements about their persona and self-image. Other artists enjoy dressing up, often with very unexpected accessories. Moving out of doors, they equally show themselves at work or as part of the everyday world, again often reflecting more how they wish to be seen than the reality.
Artists represented in this exhibition include Gerard Dillon, John Lavery, William Orpen, and Nano Reid.