The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

How can I tell if a portrait is on display?

Whenever a portrait is on display in London, at one of our regional partners, on long-term or exhibition loan, the Gallery indicates that it is currently on display to the public.

In the search area of Collections this information is displayed next to the initial thumbnail listing once a sitter or artist has been selected, on a line that starts 'On display ...' and in a 'See this portrait' link at the top right hand corner of the page once a small thumbnail has been clicked on in order to display all the information about a portrait.

If in doubt look for this green dot which confirms the portrait is on display.

To see a full listing of all National Portrait Gallery portraits on display go to Advanced Search and select the ‘On Display’ check box.


Scientific techniques

Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.

Watch now

Subjects and themes

Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!

Discover the Collection

Black History Month

Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.

Take the tour

A Picture of Health

Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.

Explore the timeline