Catching a Likeness - Portraits on Paper

Attributed to Andrea Mantegna, 'Portrait of Francesco II Gonzaga, 4th Marquese of Mantua, (1466-1519)', c.1495.

Catching a Likeness – Portraits on Paper
3rd September – 9th December 2007

Print Gallery

The spontaneity with which an artist manages to capture a likeness quickly is unique to portraits on paper, a quality not always found in a finished painting.

Catching a Likeness featured over 50 portraits from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. It examined how portraits have varied in accordance with prevailing artistic fashions, favoured styles, techniques and media. Idealised heads featured alongside truthful self-portraits, literary likenesses and caricatures, while examples of modern portraits showed a more experimental approach.

The exhibition drew on portraits from the Gallery's Prints and Drawings collection, complemented by a selection of works on loan from the National Galleries of Scotland, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts (University of Birmingham), The National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland (University of Limerick) and private collections. It included works by Antonio Pollaiuolo (Portrait of a Young Man, 1470s), Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (La belle Ferronnière, c.1802-6), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Jane Burden, 1858), and Paul Klee (Ghost of a Genius, no.10, 1922), as well as portraits by Irish artists; Adam Buck, Muriel Brandt, Patrick Hennessy, Michael Kane, Sean Keating and Brian Bourke.

Exhibition Brochure:
Catching a Likeness – Portraits on Paper
© 2007 National Gallery of Ireland
Editor Niamh MacNally