Top 5

Top 5 Family Portraits

Families! They can be annoying or the best people in the world. Let's look at some different family portraits from Tate's collection.

1. Goodbye

Christopher Wood
The Fisherman’s Farewell (1928)
Tate

This is a portrait of a fisherman saying goodbye to his wife and child on the beach. He might be leaving for the day or going away for a long time. The stormy skies make the sea look a bit chilly!

2. Story time

Rachel Whiteread
Storytime (2008)
Tate

© Rachel Whiteread

Families can come in all sizes and they can do lots of different activities together.

A family might be your parents or siblings or a group of friends. What story do you think this family of toys are listening to? Do you like to read stories as a family or with your friends?

3. At home with the cat

Sunil Gupta
Roger & Steve, London (1984, printed 2018)
Tate

© Sunil Gupta

This is a photo of Roger, Steve and their cat. The photographer, Sunil Gupta, took this as part of a series of family portraits of gay couples in long term relationships.

Do you have a pet at home? Would they stay still enough for a family photograph?

4. Family photos

In her paintings, American artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby uses old family photographs. She grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and now lives in Los Angeles in the U.S. Can you see where she's used collaged bits of old photographs in this painting? They make up the shadows and line the walls.

How else could you use family photos in an artwork about your family?

5. Grandparents

This is a painting that is nearly 350 years old. Mrs Salesbury is the grandmother of the two children in the painting. Do you like hanging out with your grandparents? Would they be in your family portrait?