Four Self-Portraits - 05.3.81
© Richard Hamilton

Reference URL

Four Self-Portraits - 05.3.81 1990
  • Artist Rooms
Richard Hamilton was a key figure in the British and international Pop Art movements, as well as being one of its main theoreticians. The majority of his work is concerned with the art historical traditions in contemporary art. ‘Four Self-Portraits 05.3.81’ takes portraiture as its starting point, using new media to expand its boundaries. Instead of limiting the portrait to a single image, Hamilton uses four. In the early 1980s, the artist took Polaroids of himself and added layers of acrylic colour. After ten years, he digitally converted the photos into transparencies to be made into enlarged prints. Mounted on canvas, they epitomize the layered way in which Hamilton’s works deal with artistic media.

Glossary Open


General term for synthetic paints, known for their brilliant colours, stability and versatility.


Applied to images or image-making equipment that uses computer technology.

Medium/ media

The material from which an artwork is made, e.g. oil paint, bronze, paper. 'Medium' is also used for the liquid element of paint in which a colouring agent is carried. 'Mixed media' is used when an artist combines several different materials in an artwork.

Pop Art

An art movement of the 1950s to the 1970s that was primarily based in Britain and the United States. Pop artists are so called because of their use of imagery from popular culture. They also introduced techniques and materials from the commercial world, such as screen-printing, to fine art practice.

Acrylic, Digital, Medium/ media, Pop Art


  • Acc. No. AR00141
  • Medium Oil paint and enamel on cibachrome print on 4 canvases
  • Size 75.50 x 75.40 x 3.20 cm
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008