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.

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Reproducing images from our Collection

You need permission to reproduce our images. Here's how to apply for a licence:

Find the image you want to use at . Click “use this image” and choose the appropriate licence option. Please note that not all images are available to license from us, and some images are restricted to certain types of licence.

For non-commercial online uses such as scholarly and non-profit websites, blogs, local society newsletters and family history projects you can obtain the free Creative Commons licence and obtain a low-resolution image (we do not permit the use of hi-resolution images online).

For private, non-commercial research, use in a classroom, use in a dissertation or for scholarly and non-commercial publications, if the combined print/electronic run is below 2,000 copies for books, or 4,000 copies for journals (and images are used inside (not on the cover) you can choose the “Academic Licence” option and obtain hi-resolution image/s free of charge (once you have registered your details and submitted your request via the website). If you want to order more than one image via the Academic Licence, once you have registered, and the first image is in your basket, you need to return to the main National Portrait Gallery website ( to select the next image and request each one separately under the Academic Licence.

If the use you envisage does not meet the Creative Commons or Academic Licence criteria you will need to choose the Professional Licence option and fees will be payable (you need to pay online by credit card, but the website offers the best rates). You can also access the Professional Licence directly via our commercial image licensing website at

If you want to use images in a way that isn’t covered by the licenses available online please contact us via e-mail at [email protected] providing detailed information about how you want to use the images, your full postal address and contact details, and your deadline.

Visit From Your Armchair

Self-portrait as My Father from the series Encounter  by Silvia Rosi © Silvia Rosi

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

An online exhibition celebrating the very best in contemporary portrait photography.

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Hold Still

Hold Still

Explore our community photography project, which presents a personal record of the UK during lockdown.

Explore the exhibition

Margaret Thatcher by Spitting Images Productions Ltd painted plastic, 1985

Sculptures in 360°

See sculptures and fascinating objects from our Collection from all angles.

View the 360s

David Hockney: Drawing from Life

Watch highlights from our special exhibition, which had to close early in March 2020 due to lockdown.

See the video