‘Are you looking at me?’: The secrets behind Art History’s most famous portraits

Are portraits supposed to look like the sitter or are they a way of probing something deeper?

Portraits form part of the collection of almost every art gallery in the Western world. They are created for a myriad of reasons – money, power, propaganda, death, life and love. But what makes one ‘great’?

From El Greco’s mysterious ‘Lady in a Fur Wrap’, to Vermeer’s iconic ‘Girl with the Pearl Earring’, to Norman Rockwell’s entertaining yet self-deprecating ‘Triple Self Portrait’, this talk will explore the secrets behind some of Art History’s most famous portrait paintings.