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This illustrated catalogue explores the far-reaching developments that took place in painted and sculpted portraiture during a period of great change in Europe and North America. The French Revolution sent shock waves around the world, whereas royal and aristocratic portraits in the ancien regime had tended to reflect stability and venerable tradition, the awakening of a modern democratic spirit led to a more direct approach and even the most exalted sitters now found themselves portrayed with a new frankness. Informed by the ideals of the Enlightenment, all the artists featured here – among them Reynolds, Gainsborough, Canova, Lawrence, Houdon, David, Thorvaldsen, Ingres and Goya – made a significant contribution to the changing presentation of the individual, depicting renowned figures as well as their own families and friends with disarming candour. Perceptive contributions by many of the leading authorities in the field make this exhibition a landmark in portraiture studies.