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The self-portrait: historical highlights

Ten-week art history and theory lecture series

Short course

  • 16 September 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 23 September 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 30 September 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 7 October 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 14 October 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 21 October 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 28 October 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 4 November 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 11 November 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 18 November 2019, 6.30 — 8pm

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Part of our

Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits

events programme
Go to exhibition page

Lucian Freud, Self-Portrait Reflection, Fragment (detail), c.1965.

Oil and graphite on canvas. 89.7 x 89.7cm. The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images.

In this 10-week lecture series you’ll explore the medium of self-portraiture and how artists chose to depict themselves throughout art history

Throughout art history, self-portraits have been used as self-promotion, to immortalise the sitter, as an exploration of identity, emotion and ideas. A self-portrait is a public display of the artist’s innermost self, both intensely private and yet their chosen record for posterity. By taking 10 emblematic self-portraits as a starting point, this lecture series provides in-depth analysis of each artists’ use of their own image to explore history, individual identity and psychology as well as its significance in the history of art and visual culture.

Each week, a leading expert will investigate one of art history’s most fascinating self-portraits and proceed to explore the historical context, the artist’s intention and what self-portraits can tell us about both art and history in general. We explore Dürer’s presentation of himself as Christ; Velázquez’s insertion of himself into one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, Las Meninas; first President of the RA Sir Joshua Reynolds’ use of self-portraiture as self-promotion; and modern artists who have pushed the genre to its limits. This series coincides with the RA’s exhibition Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits, bringing together for the first time over 50 paintings, prints and drawings spanning seven decades in a remarkable exploration of the self-portrait by one artist.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

  • 16 September 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 23 September 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 30 September 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 7 October 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 14 October 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 21 October 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 28 October 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 4 November 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 11 November 2019, 6.30 — 8pm
  • 18 November 2019, 6.30 — 8pm

The Life Room, Royal Academy Schools

£540 for full course or £320 for five weeks. Includes all materials, light refreshments and a wine reception at the end of the fifth and tenth sessions.

Book now