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Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AN EXHIBITION entitled Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian will be on display in the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery – from October 15, 2008 to January 18, 2009.

For the first time ever, this exhibition will trace the development of 15th and 16th century portrait painting in both northern and southern Europe side by side.

Featuring many of the great masters of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Holbein, Cranach, Van Eyck and Dürer – Renaissance Faces will comprise around seventy paintings, along with medals, sculptures, drawings and engravings.

The exhibition will explore issues of likeness, memory and identity, examining portraits which were commissioned in connection with courtship, friendship and marriage – including self-portraits of artists themselves.

Highlights of the exhibition will include the evolution of the full-length portrait, and an examination of the relatively unexplored area of counter-portraits and the anti-ideal – along with rare loans and new research into the works on display.

Renaissance Faces is organised with the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.

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