Portrait Explorer

The Portrait Explorer, located on the National Portrait Gallery’s ground floor mezzanine, provides visitors with touchscreen access to over 41,000 sitters and artists and 65,000 portraits in the Gallery’s Collections.

Visitors can:

  • obtain information about sitters and artists
  • explore sitters and artists according to profession and other groupings
  • explore portraits by subject and theme
  • view related portraits and contextual material
  • view a selection of video interviews with artists and sitters
  • delve into interactive features providing insights into selected portraits
  • magnify images to examine details and technique
  • discover who's who in a group portrait
  • create personalised tours of portraits on display
  • obtain free black-and-white prints for most portraits
  • read transcriptions of documents relating to specific portraits
  • use timelines to explore historical periods
  • search for recent acquisitions
  • filter search results by gender, era and medium type

The Gallery developed the Portrait Explorer in partnership with Cogapp, a Brighton-based design and production company working with online and interactive media, with a 20-year track record of collaboration with museums and galleries, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery and British Museum in London.

Site-specific versions of the Portrait Explorer are accessible at the Gallery’s 3 regional partnerships: Beningbrough Hall in Yorkshire, Bodelwyddan Castle in North Wales and Montacute House in Somerset.

Versions of the Portrait Explorer – focussing on the Regency period – are in the Weldon Galleries (Rooms 17 and 20), and versions occasionally tour with exhibitions.

For more detailed information see the Guide to the Portrait Explorer.