Art & Design

Painted Faces

05 December 2012 - 17 November 2013, Newcastle upon Tyne

East meets West in this array of beauty as seen though the eyes of artists. ‘Painted Faces’ combines the tradition of portraiture in art with the tradition of make-up in popular culture. All of the artworks on display are inspired by the impulse to capture beauty, both natural and altered. Collectively they present very different versions of the ideal image. 


Famous for their elaborate and stylised application of make-up, the role of the courtesan defined a tradition in Japanese woodblock prints. Known as ‘bijinga’ or ‘beautiful women’ such prints show the special attention paid to the wearing of make-up and to adornment as described, and, sometimes defined in art.


In addition to Japanese prints, ‘Painted Faces’ includes the exquisite watercolour ‘Hhareem Life’ by John Frederick Lewis and Chinese export watercolours in the style of the Tingqua workshop, as well as work by contemporary and modern artists Marlene Dumas and Eduardo Paolozzi. All of the artworks on display are works on paper from Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums’ collections.

5 December 2012 - 17 November 2013

Laing Art Gallery, New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AG

Tel: 0191 – 232 - 7734


Laing Art Gallery, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums