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

A Guide to the National Portrait Gallery


240x180mm, 64 pages
90 illustrations
ISBN 978 1 85514 407 1
£5 (paperback)

This product is supplied by the National Portrait Gallery Company Limited. For more information on the Company, click here. Every purchase supports the National Portrait Gallery.

Out of print

John Cooper

The new Guide to the National Portrait Gallery provides contextual and thematic information together with interesting and quirky facts and stories behind the portraits.

Organised chronologically, the Guide reflects as far as possible the actual layout of the Gallery. Large full-colour images focus on the Gallery’s highlights, while accessible bite-sized texts about the works may be read easily while on the move in the Gallery.

Although intended for use within the Gallery, the Guide will also be helpful when planning for future visits.


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