barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

Prestige & Power

Projecting identity in 17th-century Portraiture


Artists, writers, politicians and royalty come under the spotlight in this display, which explores how portraiture was used to assert status, celebrate achievements and project individuality in the 17th century.

It features prints, drawings and miniatures from the Barber’s own collection along with miniatures on loan from two fine private collections. Artists represented include Rubens, Van Dyck and Charles Le Brun, as well as miniaturists Nicholas Hilliard, Isaac Oliver and Richard Gibson.

Bolten, Arent van (About 1573-1633)

Lamp in the form of a grotesque bird


Rubens, Peter Paul (1577-1640)

Portrait of Helena Fourment


Rembrandt, Harmensz. van Rijn (1606-1669)

Study of a Nude Youth