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With speaker Dr Caroline Palmer

People have been painting faces since the very earliest times, and whether creating portraits or decorating human skin, they have used exactly the same materials – from kohl in ancient Egypt to white lead and carmine in eighteenth-century Europe.

Early artists’ manuals contain recipes for cosmetics as well as for pastels and paint, while instructions on how to enhance the face mimic those for making portraits. Even today we talk about “make-up artists” and eye-shadow “palettes”, inventing ever more extreme forms of “self-fashioning”, from apps for flawless Selfies to plastic surgery.  Focusing on works from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, speaker Dr Caroline Palmer will explore the relationship between cosmetics and portraiture.

Doors open at 6.30pm

Tickets £10 to include a glass of wine or soft drink (£9 for Friends and Benefactors)