Exhibition Ended

Looking Good | The Male Gaze From Van Dyck to Lucian Freud

From Sat 24 Jun 2017 - Sun 1 Oct 2017

This exhibition has now ended!


This exhibition considers the theme of male image, identity and appearance from the 16th century to the present day. The selection of portraits, from the National Galleries of Scotland and National Portrait Gallery, London collections will explore the elaborate hairstyles and fashions of the courtiers and cavaliers of the 16th and 17th centuries; the emergence of the dandy in the early 18th century; the rise of celebrity and the interest in male beauty and personal grooming; and representations of gender and sexuality.

In response to the exhibition, Mercury prize-winning band Young Fathers have created a soundscape and video which address the challenges associated with masculinity in the twenty-first century.


The Young Fathers perform a response to Looking Good, our exhibition exploring male image, identity and appearance.  Their commentary is part of a contemporary response to themes about male representation and explores issues around privilege and inequality and conventions of historic portraiture and its display.

The exhibition is part of a national tour of Sir Anthony Van Dyck’s final Self-Portrait, c.1640 recently acquired for the nation. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is the final and only Scottish gallery to host this high profile painting. The exhibition comprises 28 works of art, including paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures and miniatures and is accompanied by an exciting programme of events. 

Image: Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Self Portrait (detail), 1640-1641
National Portrait Gallery, London



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