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Portrait of the artist: masterpieces that declare 'Look at me!' – review

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Daniel Mytens, A Self-Portrait, c.1630
Daniel Mytens c.1630 Credit: Royal Collection Trust / Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016

At the Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace, David Hockney peers out at us through a blizzard of red-tinted, flesh-coloured lines that seems to dissolve as we move closer. This is partly because of the closeness of the artist to his mirror image, but also because the work from 2012 was created on an iPad.

Hockney gave it to the Queen at the time of his being been appointed a member of the Order of Merit, deciding – very unusually for a digital work – that no further copies would be made. It’s an example of how traditions of gift-exchanging between artists and potentates that date back to the Renaissance and beyond flourish even in our digital age.

This exhibition takes us on a delightful trawl through the vaults of the Royal Art Collection, digging out oddities and rarities that illuminate the changing role of the artist.

Jean-E tienne Liotard's self-portrait c.1753 Credit: Royal Collection Trust / Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016

The painter or sculptor looks deep into their own soul, recording the...

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