An exhibition aimed at helping adults and children from as young as three years old to appreciate and understand portraiture has opened across two venues in Callendar Park in Falkirk.

Showing at Callendar House and the Park Gallery until June 10, Profiled features more than 40 works borrowed from the collections of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and includes portraits produced by many of Scotland's most important artists over a period of almost 400 years.

Emma Roodhouse, the curator at Callendar Park, has worked with the portrait gallery in Edinburgh to create a very accessible exhibition that comprises not only portraits on canvas and paper, made with traditional materials such as pencil and paint, but also sculpture, photographs and etched glass.

"Profiled is not a 'men in wigs' exhibition," she stresses. "The works have been chosen, not just for their excellence, but to show how wide and varied the art of portraiture is."

Allan Ramsay, for instance, portrait painter to George III in the mid-18th century and best known for pictures of grand people in fancy clothes, is represented by a modest pencil portrait of his father, drawn when he was only 16 years old but already an accomplished artist.

Among the other artists featured in the show are Elizabeth Blackadder, who comes from the Falkirk area, and Kenny Hunter, well known for his contemporary, smooth-textured sculptures. Portrait subjects include family and friends of the artists as well as famous Scots, such as William Wallace and Donald Dewar.

An education and events programme accompanies the exhibition. It offers free workshops to primary schools and, during the Easter holidays, activities for children aged three and over.

E nikki.goldsworthy@falkirk.gov.uk T 01324 503770

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