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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We Recommend

Hold Still book front cover

Hold Still: A Portrait of our Nation in 2020

This new book presents a unique portrait of the UK during the 2020 lockdown, through 100 community photographs.

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Icons and Identities Front Cover

Icons and Identities: Famous Faces from the Collection

Icons and Identities explores the portrayal of people as a human preoccupation from prehistoric art to digital media.

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Family Activities: Playful Portraits front cover

Love Stories: Art, Passion & Tragedy Hardcover

Featuring passion and romance, scandal and tragedy, commitment and heartbreak, this book explores the most powerful love stories in history.

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The National Portrait Gallery's
award-winning publishing programme supports the Gallery by reflecting on the nature of British society and identity through portraiture. We publish books that showcase the highlights of the Gallery’s Collection and present the art and stories behind eminent British men and women who have influenced Britain’s artistic, cultural and social history. Alongside creating beautifully produced catalogues to accompany the Gallery’s Collection as it tours in regional and international exhibitions.

National Portrait Gallery publications are available to buy in Gallery shops, online at and in all good bookshops.

Browse our books

Contact Information

For general enquiries: [email protected]

For press and marketing: [email protected]

For trade distribution in all countries except USA and Canada: [email protected]

For trade distribution in USA and Canada: [email protected]


All publications sold support the work of the National Portrait Gallery, London.



Get Creative

Develop your art skills

Discover our BP Next Generation short films made by artists. Follow step by step guides in drawing and painting techniques.

Improve your skills

Hold Still

Hold Still photography workshop

Reflect on your own experiences of lockdown through this easy-to-do from home, photographic exercise. 

Watch the video

Draw Like a Renaissance Master

Revisit The Encounter exhibition and learn about Renaissance and Baroque drawing methods and materials.

Improve your technique