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Painting Faces explores the fascinating history of the art of ‘making-up’. Featuring over 40 drawings, prints and objects from the collections of the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. The exhibition focuses on the history of make-up and its portrayal in artworks from the Ancient Egyptians to Instagram.

People have been perfecting their faces since the very earliest times, whether painting portraits or decorating human skin. With exhibits ranging from an Egyptian make-up palette, used for grinding green eye make-up, to seventeenth-century prints from England and France exploring European attitudes towards cosmetics and the fashions of the aristocracy, to Hollywood’s influence and the mass-marketed cosmetics of the 20th century, Painting Faces shows our enduring need for ‘self-fashioning’ both on skin and canvas.

Admission to the exhibition is included in general admission to Time and Tide Museum. It’s best to book tickets online in advance as visitor numbers are limited.

See more events and activities associated with this exhibition.

Image: Seymour Dorothy Fleming, Lady Worsley, c. 1780 – 1785, by John Russell, pastel on blue paper, Image courtesy of the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford