Selected archive documents relating to Primary Collection portraits

The Heinz Archive and Library preserves a large body of correspondence and other documents relating to portraits within the Gallery's main Primary Collection. This material often includes notes made by the artists and letters to and from the sitters and artists.

Within the following sections is a representative selection of material from the 17th Century to the present day.

Selected archive documents relating to pre-18th Century portraits

NPG 1766 - © National Portrait Gallery, LondonIncluding a receipt for the purchase of a portrait of Mary Queen of Scots.

Find out more

Selected archive documents relating to 18th Century and Regency portraits

NPG 3136 - © National Portrait Gallery, LondonIncluding a letter from the Earl of Bath discussing contemporary political events and speaking of his sitting to Reynolds.

Find out more

Selected archive documents relating to Victorian portraits

NPG 967 - © National Portrait Gallery, LondonIncluding a letter from G.F. Watts to the Director of the National Portrait Gallery speaking of his 'Hall of Fame' portraits.

Find out more

Selected archive documents relating to 20th Century portraits

NPG 6371 - © National Portrait Gallery, LondonIncluding a letter from the artist Humphrey Ocean giving an account of Tony Benn and sittings with him.

Find out more

Collected Archives

Collected ArchivesArchive material that has been acquired by the Gallery from external sources because of its relevance to the study of British portraiture.

Find out more

Collected Archives

Collected ArchivesA collection of manuscripts that relate to British portraiture and specifically to artists and portraits represented in the Gallery's collection.

Find out more