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Sunley Room
22 July - 26 September 2004

Supported at the National Gallery by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Bernard Sunley Foundation.

The eagerly awaited touring exhibition Making Faces opens at the National Gallery in July, following on from the success it has enjoyed at the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery and the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne. This is the third in the National Gallery's highly successful series of touring exhibitions organised in collaboration with their regional partners.

Making Faces contains 27 works, 15 from the National Gallery collection, and includes works by artists as diverse as Cranach, Goya, Hogarth, Renoir, Warhol and Julian Opie. It will explore the way painters have represented faces from the profile portraits of fifteenth century Italy, such the Portrait of a Lady in Red (Florentine School, National Gallery), to the abstracted images of Frank Auerbach's Julia (Laing Art Gallery). Opening with a section on how artists have addressed the problem of catching a likeness, the exhibition will centre on the way painters have used expression, idealisation, distortion and caricature to convey character, social standing and emotion.

The exhibition includes single heads of great individuality such as Hogarth's wonderfully vivacious The Shrimp Girl and Goya's splendid Doña Isabel de Porcel, both from the National Gallery. It also shows crowded scenes of carefully distinguished facial types such as the teeming cross-section of London life shown in George Elgar Hick's popular Victorian masterpiece The General Post Office: One minute to Six (Museum of London). The show culminates with a selection of narrative paintings that use faces to intensely expressive ends including Rembrandt's eye-popping tour de force, Belshazzar's Feast (National Gallery) and Francis Bacon's stooped and screaming Figure Study II (Batley Art Gallery, Huddersfield).

Supported by generous grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Esmée Fairburn Foundation, the Touring Partnerships exhibitions allow masterpieces from the National Gallery, accompanied by important loans, to be shown outside London and have proved exceptionally popular. In 2003 Paradise was seen by over 300,000 visitors at the three venues.



Now Open:

Russian landscape in the age of Tolstoy

23 June - 12 September

Half price tickets Wednesdays 6-9pm plus live music & bar


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