Modern Visionaries: Van Dyck and the Artists' Eye

An exhibition featuring Sir Anthony Van Dyck's last self-portrait

‘Self-portrait by Sir Anthony van Dyck, c.1640 © National Portrait Gallery, London’


Until Sunday 4 June

Visitor Information

Opening Times

This exhibition will be closed from 12-4pm on Thursday 25 May due to an event happening in the gallery.

MondayClosed (except bank holidays)
Tuesday10am - 5pm
Wednesday10am - 5pm
Thursday10am - 5pm
Friday10am - 5pm
Saturday10am - 5pm
Sunday2pm - 5pm

Free entry. Suggested donation £2 per person.

All donations support our ambitious exhibition programme, help us to inspire audiences through innovative learning activities and help keep our permanent collection free to all.


Inspired by the remarkably innovative style of Sir Anthony van Dyck's last self-portrait, acquired for the nation in 2014, this exhibition pairs the painting with stunning works by major artists of the 20th and 21st century.

Like Van Dyck's self-portrait, the selected works offer the viewer direct eye-contact with a visionary artist, from David Bomberg, Francis Bacon and L.S. Lowry, to Sarah Lucas, Chris Ofili, and Jane & Louise Wilson. Composed of loans from the National Portrait Gallery and works from the Laing's own collection, alongside a contemporary artist's commission, the exhibition asks what it means to confront these great artists face-to-face, exploring themes of genius, creativity and the artist's role in society.

Van Dyck's self-portrait was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery following a major public appeal with the Art Fund and thanks to the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and others.

Find out more about Van Dyck’s nationwide tour.


Van Dyck