Workshop 1

Making Faces: Portraiture and Models of Likeness

18 February 2011, National Portrait Gallery, 13.00 - 18.00


This workshop will investigate the shifting concept of ‘likeness’ in portraiture as an interplay between interior and exterior identity, including the impact of Cartesian, phenomenological, and psychoanalytic theories of mind and body. It will also consider the extent to which models of ‘likeness’ in portraiture can accommodate physical changes to the face through injury  and disease, and how historical and contemporary developments in facial surgery challenge models of likeness predicated on physical appearance. 

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth IIsaac Rosenberg, Clare Winsten

Left to right: Queen Elizabeth I (The Ditchley Portrait), image © National Portrait Gallery, London
Isaac Rosenberg, Clare Winsten, image © UCL Art Museum


Chair: Brian Durrans (British Museum Centre for Anthropology)

Joanna Woodall (Courtauld Institute)

Marcia Pointon (University of Manchester)
Likeness as a problematic concept in historic portraiture

Hugh Aldersey-Williams (Independent scholar)
“Like is an ill mark”

Suzannah Biernoff (Birkbeck, University of London)
Faces of war

Nichola Rumsey (Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England)
Whole face transplantation: issue of identity and recognition

Deborah Padfield (Slade School of Fine Art)
Facing pain


Abstracts of presentations can be downloaded here.

Final report

Download the final report