All current exhibitions

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

On now until 1 October 2017

Admission Free

29 artworks

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 will comprise 28 works of art, including paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures and miniatures which will be 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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Related events

Drop-in event Families & children
Portrait Detectives! Looking Good (Ages 4-12)
  • Portrait
  • 10 September 2017
  • 2:00pm - 4:00pm
  • FREE
Drop-in event Young people
Razor’s Edge Barbershop: The Sequel
  • Portrait
  • 30 September 2017
  • 11:00am - 4:00pm
  • FREE
Music concert Adults
The FindHorn Quartet
  • Portrait
  • 14 September 2017
  • 6:00pm - 6:30pm
  • FREE
Tour Adults
Portrait Gallery Thematic Tours | Looking Good: The Male Gaze From Van Dyck to Lucian Freud
  • Portrait
  • 2 September 2017
  • 2:00pm - 3:45pm
  • FREE
Lecture or talk Adults
The Artist’s Gaze: A focus on Sir Anthony Van Dyck’s Last Self-Portrait
  • National
  • 11 September 2017
  • 12:45pm - 1:30pm
  • FREE
Special event Adults
Friday Night Mixer | Looking Good: The Male Gaze From Van Dyck to Lucian Freud
  • Portrait
  • 22 September 2017
  • 6:00pm - 8:30pm
  • £5.00
Tour Communities & access
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Tour- Looking Good: The Male Gaze From Van Dyck to Lucian Freud
  • Portrait
  • 20 August 2017
  • 11:00am - 12:00pm
  • FREE


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