The National Portrait Gallery commissions a small number of portraits every year as part of its commitment to collecting portraits of those who have made an important contribution to British history and culture. Over the last thirty years, it has commissioned some 180 portrait paintings, sculptures, drawings and works in mixed media as well as many photographs. These portraits now form the backbone of the contemporary displays.
Information about the commissioning process, including choosing a subject, working with the artist and creating the resulting portrait.
The National Portrait Gallery is home to the world’s largest collection of portraits from the Middle Ages to the present day. Our Collection provides inspiration, learning and enjoyment to more than two million visitors a year. The National Portrait Gallery self-generates 60% of the funds needed to keep the Gallery open and accessible to all. With your support, we can plan for the future with confidence, continuing to maintain and develop our permanent Collection alongside a world-class programme of exhibitions and events.