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The inner self

Portraits do more than take a snapshot. Artists have long strived to explore the inner self by recreating our outward appearance. A good portrait can tell us something about the character of its subject and here the artists use a range of techniques to convey their sitters’ memories and dreams – sometimes the human figure is not recognisable. Explore these works for a deeper look at our psychological state.

Model with Black Jacket

Craigie Aitchison 

The Storyteller

Tai-Shan Schierenberg

Make it Double

Mari Sunna


Peter Doig

Marina and Bettina

Alex Katz

Sleep (head)

Catherine Yass


Alex Katz

Untitled (Guy carrying painting in bag)

Kevin Landers

Tetrach 10.34am 4th December

Christopher Bucklow

Cut Out Trees Jacket

Lynn Dennison

Pawel at the Window, Florence

Nan Goldin

Inka's Shoes

Joe Fig

Paddle Woman - Study 1

Louise Bourgeois


Bernard McGuigan


Chris Ofili