Why do artists paint themselves?

Artists for over three thousand years did not make self-portraits and they only really began to do so in the 14th century. This was when the great artists stopped being anonymous craftspeople and became art superstars. That is why we all know what Frida Kahlo , Van Gogh, Picasso and Tracy Emin look like.

Through their Self Portraits, they have all become icons. Celebrity culture is a modern offshoot of this kind of immortality and intern has triggered our love of taking selfies. How we look to others has become more important than how we think and believe of ourselves.

This talk explores the meanings behind some of the greatest Self Portraits from the 14th century to the present day and why they remain fresh and relevant, even now in the 21st century.  The best self-portraits are some of the greatest art ever made because they are about the human condition and reveal profound inner truths about the artist, but also speak to our own unique humanity.

Nahem Shoa

Now based in London, he studied in Manchester. Shoa has a long term commitment to representing people of colour.

He strives to capture the unique skin colour that is individual to the sitter and not a racial stereotype. Shoa’s goal is to paint black skin as intensely as Lucien Freud painted white skin.

Object of the Month

The Object of the Month lunchtime talks take place on the second Wednesday of every month and highlight different objects from our fine art and social history collections.

Join us as we discover the hidden histories of items across our collections, from painting, print and sculpture to craft, costume and ceramics. The programme is delivered by Museum and Gallery staff as well as a wide range of outside expert speakers.

Object of the Month talks are freeDonations to The Atkinson Development Trust are welcomed.

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