barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


The Face of Fashion

Portrait miniatures were popular in Europe from the early 17th-century until around the 1850s, depicting their sitters in the silks, brocades and lace that adorned the garments of the day. Often ornate and gem-like, many were designed to be worn on the body – themselves becoming fashion accessories.

This display, featuring a selection of exquisite examples from two private collections on long-term loan to the Barber, explores the connections between portraiture and fashion.

With examples by masters of the genre such as Hilliard, Oliver and Cosway, it also features works on paper by artists including Ingres and Beardsley that portray fine costume – and items of lace from Lady Barber’s collection.

From the Director

The Barber during the COVID-19 closure period

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Covid–19 (Coronavirus)

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Philip Galle (1537-1612)

The story of the Prodigal Son - The prodigal son leaving his father’s house

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Philip Galle (1537-1612)

The Story of the Prodigal Son - The Prodigal Son Squandering His Inheritance on Harlots

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