About this event

  • Date and time Thu 23 Jan 2020 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Public Engagement Programme

Book your place to hear Alastair Adams, Artist and past President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters give the RSM medicine and the arts Lecture’ - 'Paint and persona: Portraiture beyond the likeness'


Primarily working as a commissioned portrait painter, Alastair’s working practice has enabled him to publish, exhibit widely and pursue his interest in portraiture as a medium for capturing a likeness but also for nurturing a deeper understanding of subjects by granting permission to stare.

Previously a President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters he has worked in conjunction with Changing Faces on a number of projects looking at body image, facial difference, media representation and the role of drawing and photography within the context of painted portraiture. With reference to his past and current work he will discuss his working process and how the artist's relationship with the sitter, body language, drawing and paint combine to offer insight into personality.

Key speakers

Alistair Adams

Alastair Adams

Figure and Portrait Painter, Past President of Royal Society of Portrait Painters 

Speaker's biography

Alastair's work is held in collections globally having produced commissions for Yale University, Princeton University, Cambridge and Oxford University, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of Surgeons, the Metropolitan Police and the Supreme Court.

Most notably he was commissioned to paint Tony Blair for the National Portrait Gallery. Before leaving to commit fully to his studio practice, Alastair also held a research-based lecturing position in visual communication at Loughborough University. He is currently a trustee of the Federation of British artists and archivist for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.


View the programme

Welcome address

Professor Sir Simon Wessely, President, Royal Society of Medicine

Paint and persona: Portraiture beyond the likeness

 Alastair Adams, Artist

Discussion time
Vote of thanks

Ms Michele Acton, Chief Executive, Royal Society of Medicine

Drinks reception


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom