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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Shakespeare: Stage and Screen

The year 2016 marks 400 years since the death of the celebrated playwright and poet William Shakespeare. Shakespeare remains one of the most famous and prolific writers in the English language and his plays are still widely read, studied and performed. This slideshow presents a selection of photographs from the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection depicting actors in character for theatrical or film productions of Shakespeare’s plays. The photographs date from the earliest days of the medium to the contemporary period, illustrating how Shakespeare’s work has continued to be re-interpreted for modern audiences.

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