“As this excellent show demonstrates, among the finest works acquired by London and Edinburgh’s National Portrait Galleries since the 1980s are Victoria Crowe’s sympathetically curious, vigorous, painterly portraits”
Victoria Crowe: Beyond Likeness brings together some of the finest works by one of the UK’s most distinguished figurative artists, for a captivating and career-spanning exhibition.
Numerous prominent cultural figures, ranging from actors, authors, publishers, composers and scientists, including Nobel Laureate Sir Peter Higgs, composer Thea Musgrave and astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell are among the sitters whose portraits are included in this inspiring exhibition.
Images: Victoria Crowe, Mirror of the South (Self Portrait), 2001 and Heroes and Villains (Ben), 1995 © Victoria Crowe.
Victoria Crowe has developed an approach to portraiture that seeks to do more than record the outward appearance of a person. We see how she relates to and thinks about the personalities of her sitters as she aims to represent something of the inner life – the experiences and preoccupations of the individuals depicted – the world of ideas and dreams. These portraits also represent the people who have influenced her own thinking and understanding.
Beyond Likeness aims not only to demonstrate the exceptional skill of a remarkable painter, but also to tell her story and – both professional and personal – through her art. The portraits selected represent a journey for Victoria Crowe. She says:
"The most important portraits to me are the ones of people who have enriched my own thinking or awareness. Areas of philosophy, religion, psychological perspectives, poetry, music, art history, women's roles and the inner life are important issues for me, and all have been nurtured by these people whom I have met through portraiture."
Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.