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.

Faces of Wales


Faces of Wales is the result of a unique collaboration between Bodelwyddan Castle, National Museums & Galleries of Wales, and the National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition presents oil paintings, drawings, watercolours, prints and photographs and includes examples of portraits of people who have contributed to the cultural, political and economic face of Wales over the past 400 years. Many of the sitters shown are well known Welsh figures, while others are less famous or their associations with Wales have long been forgotten.

The exhibition has been organised as part of Celf Cymru Gyfan - Art Share Wales, the National Museums and Galleries of Wales' Visual Arts Partnership programme. It has been generously funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and aims to promote greater access throughout Wales to national art collections. Support has also been received from CyMAL, Museums Archives Libraries Wales for an exciting series of educational events open to all, including arts and crafts workshops and artists' talks.

Faces of Wales also showcases the first AXA Art Photographic Portrait Commission, showing two leading figures who have excelled in their respective fields. This event aims to develop the contemporary portrait collections at the National Museums & Galleries of Wales and encourage emerging photographic talent in Wales.


National Museum and Gallery of Wales, Cardiff,
27 May - 29 August 2006