Subjects and themes

To help visitors explore the Gallery's collections every portrait digitised is keyworded at the Gallery by subject, with five main categories: accessory, activity, dress, genre and theme. Some individual keywords in each category are illustrated with a selection of portraits below. To explore the full list of keywords in each category and the full set of portraits keyworded in each category, go to the Subjects and Themes section under Portrait in Advanced Search.

Accessory

Accessory

Objects and other elements within the portrait (examples: art, books, clocks, flowers, maps, mirrors, pets and textiles)

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Activity

Activity

What sitters are doing (examples: dancing, eating and drinking, making art and music, reading, sleeping and writing)

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Dress

Accessory

What sitters are wearing and holding (examples: glasses, fans, gloves, hats, jewellery, umbrellas).

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Genre

Accessory

Portraiture types (examples: self-portraits, group portraits, portraits of children and families, nudes, weddings)

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Theme

Overarching themes (examples: diversity, events and occasions, artists in their studios, words and inscriptions, gardens).

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