Portrait of Melissa Thompson by Kehinde Wiley

See this new acquisition by Nigerian-American artist Kehinde Wiley on display alongside works by William Morris

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Nigerian-American artist, Kehinde Wiley is best known for his portraits of people of colour in settings and poses that reference Old Master paintings. Described as ‘majestic and powerful’, Wiley’s portraits replace European figures of power and influence, asking us to consider the power dynamics behind who is represented in these portraits and why.

On display for the first time at the V&A, Wiley’s ‘Portrait of Melissa Thompson’ from The Yellow Wallpaper series marks the first time the artist has worked solely with women and explores themes of feminism, identity, and representation.

This painting was purchased with support from Art Fund and a legacy donation from Dr Philip da Costa.

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Header image: Portrait of Melissa Thompson from the series 'The Yellow Wallpaper', 2020. Museum no. E.59-2021