Skip to main content

Distributed for Royal Collection Trust

Portrait of the Artist

Dürer’s Self-Portrait at Age Twenty-Eight. Hockney’s Self-Portrait with Cigarette. Melzi’s drawing of Leonardo da Vinci, widely regarded as the most reliable surviving likeness of this most famous Old Master. Throughout history, many of the world’s most renowned artists have made portraits to represent themselves and others.

The first book to focus on images of artists from within the Royal Collection, Portrait of the Artist brings together paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs by artists from across the centuries, including works by Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, David Hockney, and Lucian Freud. While some of the portraits included in this book were created to showcase the artist’s talent, others were motivated by more personal reasons, to preserve the images of cherished friends. Anna Reynolds, Lucy Peter, and Martin Clayton explore the miscellany of themes running throughout the discipline of portraiture, from the rich symbolism found in images of the artist’s studio to the transformation of styles with which artists depictedthemselves, changing their portrayals to align with their changing status. They also explore the relationships between artists and patrons, including the important role of the monarchy in commissioning and collecting portraits of artists.

Published to accompany a major exhibition opening in the fall at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Portrait of the Artist provides a fascinating new perspective on this tradition, with lavish color illustrations of works from the fifteenth century to the present.

240 pages | 150 color plates | 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 | © 2016

Art: British Art

Royal Collection Trust image

View all books from Royal Collection Trust


“In an age saturated with selfies, sometimes it feels good to put the iPhone down and leave it to the pros. Portrait of the Artist does just that, collecting images of artists from the vast British Royal Collection, which includes work by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, David Hockney, William Hogarth and more. Like many art books, Portrait of the Artist, out this week from the Royal Collection Trust . . , accompanies reproductions with historical context and analysis, which is particularly fun for works in conversation with one another.”

Los Angeles Times

“Yes, you will be awestruck at how incredibly detailed these artworks are.”

Daily Hive (Vancouver)

“Spanning six centuries, the works are worthy of royalty, to be sure. . . . [They] are infused with history—but they are also alive with personal details.” 

Globe and Mail

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press