Research programmes


Research is fundamental to the Gallery’s work whether through large projects working in partnership with other organisations, research based on its own collections, or as a facilitator of research into portraiture by scholars from outside. The Gallery is recognised as an Independent Research Organisation by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Research programmes at the Gallery

The Gallery's range of current research programs centred around our collections and aspects of portraiture.

Making Art in Tudor Britain

A major research project on early painting practice and the production of portraits in the Tudor and Jacobean periods.

British artists' suppliers, 1650-1950

British Artists' Suppliers focuses on the supply of painting materials to British artists, especially portrait painters, up until 1950.

Research partnerships

Working with individuals and organisations both as collaborators on research programmes and as funding partners.

British picture restorers, 1600-1950

A directory including a selection of more than 100 prominent and interesting picture, sculpture and paper restorers in Britain.

The Art of the Picture Frame

An update on the exhibition 'The Art of the Picture Frame', held at the Gallery in 1996-97 and giving information on current research.

Early history of mezzotint

The prints of Alexander Browne and Richard Tompson, two of the first and most important publishers of high quality mezzotints in Britain.

Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Research work on detailed catalogues of Later Victorian Portraits, currently focussed on the Art and Architecture tranche.


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HM Queen Margrethe II’s distinguished postdoctoral fellowships on the subject of Danish-British portraiture are the result of a partnership between the Gallery and the National Museum of History in Frederiksborg, with the support of the Carlsberg Foundation. The fellowships began in April 2016 and will run for two years, with one of the fellows being based at the Gallery.

Anne of Denmark  (detailed)
by John De Critz the Elder
oil on canvas, circa 1605-1610
On display in Room 4 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6918