Publications

The National Portrait award-winning publishing programme supports the Gallery's mission to promote through Gallery’s the medium of portraits the appreciation and understanding of men and women who have made – and are making – British history and culture. To that end we publish a wide range of books and paper products that draw on the riches of the Gallery's Collection.

Our Companions series, for example, profiles celebrated cultural figures such as Oscar Wilde, Samuel Pepys, William Shakespeare and their circles , as well as important artistic and literary movements, including the Pre-Raphaelites, the Romantic poets and the Bloomsbury Group. A Portrait of Britain presents more than 200 highlights from the Collection, while books such as Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards and Pets in Portraits make the perfect gift. We also publish beautiful, highly illustrated catalogues to accompany the Gallery's temporary exhibitions.

Available to buy online and in bookshops across the UK and around the world, National Portrait Gallery publications bring the images in this unique national collection to the widest possible audience and provide a permanent record of our exhibitions. Click the links below to explore our titles and buy online.

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New titles See More

Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends
John Singer Sargent the leading American portrait painter of his generation.

John Singer Sargent: Painting Friends
Featuring over thirty highlights from John Singer Sargent’s portraits of artists.

National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain
This handsomely produced volume presents highlights, featuring over 200 works.

Pets in Portraits
A collection of portraits featuring appearances by animals from the collections of the National Portrait Gallery.

BP Portrait Award 2015
Featuring works from an international list of artists, the BP Portrait Award highlights the vitality of portrait painting today.

500 Portraits
The BP Portrait Award is the world’s leading showcase for painters working in portraiture.

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon
An exploration of the iconography of Audrey Hepburn, one of the world’s most photographed people.

Wellington: Triumphs, Politics and Passions
Looks at the life of this remarkable man, through his portraits and images of those around him.

Forthcoming titles See More

A Portrait of Fashion
Packed with photographs that provide additional insights into the clothes worn by sitters in their portraits.

Giacometti
An exploration of the development of Alberto Giacometti’s engagement. With evoking a human presence, focusing on the artist’s relationship.

Pepys and his Contemporaries
Samuel Pepys’s Diary is an indisputable treasure of English literature. As a picture of England, and especially of London.

Shakespeare and his Contemporaries
William Shakespeare and his friends helped create not only a new kind of theatre but also a new form of language.

Gift titles See More

Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards
The National Portrait Gallery holds hundreds of images of bearded, whiskered and moustached men.

Pets in Portraits
A collection of portraits featuring appearances by animals from the collections of the National Portrait Gallery.

The Bloomsbury Group
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Bloomsbury Group transformed British culture.

Oscar Wilde and his Circle
One of literature’s most witty personalities, Oscar Wilde captivated London society.

The Pre-Raphaelite Circle
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood lent its name to one of the most significant and innovative artistic movements of the Victorian age.

The Romantic Poets and their Circle
William Shakespeare and his friends helped create not only a new kind of theatre but also a new form of language.

Pepys and his Contemporaries
Samuel Pepys’s Diary is an indisputable treasure of English literature. As a picture of England, and especially of London.

Shakespeare and his Contemporaries
Charles Nicholl explains that Shakespeare belonged to a talented group of writers.

National Portrait Gallery Companions
The National Portrait Gallery’s series of compact, fully illustrated, historical guides.

National Portrait Gallery Companions
Fully illustrated historical guides to literary and artistic personalities and themes.

Fine Art - Exhibitions See More

Elizabeth I & Her People
This lavishly illustrated book tells their stories, as well as those of courtiers, nobles and the Queen herself.

The Lost Prince Henry, Prince of Wales (1594–1612)
In his short life he was the focus of great hope and expectation in Europe

Lucian Freud: Portraits
This new, authoritative survey of Freud’s portraits and figure paintings explores his work across seven decades.

Lucian Freud: Painting People
This accessible guide features a selection of portraits by Lucian Freud.

BP Portrait Award 2014
Featuring works from an international list of artists, the BP Portrait Award highlights

500 Portraits: BP Portrait Award
Features 500 paintings from many of the best figurative artists active over the last twenty-one years.

Laura Knight Portraits
A long overdue reappraisal of an outstanding and pioneering female
artist

Photography See More

Man Ray Portraits
Man Ray was one of the most inventive photographic artists of the twentieth century.

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014
Stunning reproductions of the selected works provide an overview of current photographic styles.

Bailey’s Stardust
The portraits in this book have been personally selected by Bailey from the wide range of subjects and groups.

Bailey Exposed
Drawing on numerous interviews, some previously unpublished, and illustrated with many iconic photographs.

Bailey’s Box of Postcards
David Bailey has chosen a selection of images from his archive – some familiar, others previously unseen.

Fine Art - Gallery Collections See More

Later Stuarts Portraits 1685–1714
This important reference work is the latest volume in the series of National Portrait Gallery.

National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790
Great sequence of illustrated catalogues of the collection embraces the period 1500-1860

National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain
This handsomely produced volume presents highlights, featuring over 200 works.

History & Biography See More

Kings and Queens
This new edition highlights the most important historical events and dates in every reign.

Imagined Lives: Portraits of unknown people
Identities of people whose portraits featured in this book have been lost or mistaken.

Bob Dylan: Face Value
An intriguing collection of portraits by the internationally acclaimed icon of American music.

21st Century Portraits
This book is an essential reference work in the field of 21st century art.

The Great War in Portraits
Published to mark the centenary of its outbreak in 1914, and accompanying a major exhibition.

Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision
highly illustrated biography of Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) by a leading authority on the Bloomsbury Group.

The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered
A fascinating introduction to the portraiture of the Tudor monarchs.

William Morris: Words & Wisdom
A collection of observations by, and about, the great British polymath, visionary, designer and writer.

Anarchy & Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy, 1860–1960
William Morris, great Victorian artist-craftsman, designer, poet, polymath and visionary thinker.

The Bloomsbury Group
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Bloomsbury Group transformed British culture.

Oscar Wilde and his Circle
One of literature’s most witty personalities, Oscar Wilde captivated London society.

The Pre-Raphaelite Circle
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood lent its name to one of the most significant and innovative artistic movements of the Victorian age.

The Romantic Poets and their Circle
William Shakespeare and his friends helped create not only a new kind of theatre but also a new form of language.

Pepys and his Contemporaries
Samuel Pepys’s Diary is an indisputable treasure of English literature. As a picture of England, and especially of London.

Shakespeare and his Contemporaries
Charles Nicholl explains that Shakespeare belonged to a talented group of writers.

National Portrait Gallery Companions
The National Portrait Gallery’s series of compact, fully illustrated, historical guides.

National Portrait Gallery Companions
Fully illustrated historical guides to literary and artistic personalities and themes.

Visitor Guides See More

A Guide to Twentieth Century Portraits
A selection of paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs by the National Portrait Gallery.

A Guide to Tudor and Jacobean Portraits
With lively engaging text and a dynamic design, the guide is organised thematically.

A Guide to Victorian & Edwardian Portraits
An introduction to Victorian and Edwardian portraits selected by the National Portrait Galler.

A Guide to Contemporary Portraits
The Gallery’s Director and Contemporary Curator discuss key works from the collection.

A Guide to the National Portrait Gallery
Organised chronologically, the Guide reflects as far as possible the actual layout of the Gallery.