Selected archive documents relating to Primary Collection portraits

The Heinz Archive and Library preserves a large body of correspondence and other documents relating to portraits within the Gallery's main Primary Collection. This material often includes notes made by the artists and letters to and from the sitters and artists.

Within the following sections is a representative selection of material from the 17th Century to the present day.

Pre-18th Century portraits

Including a receipt for the purchase of a portrait of Mary Queen of Scots.

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18th Century and Regency portraits

Including a letter from the Earl of Bath discussing contemporary political events and speaking of his sitting to Reynolds.

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Victorian portraits

Including a letter from G.F. Watts to the Director of the National Portrait Gallery speaking of his 'Hall of Fame' portraits.

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20th Century portraits

Including a letter from the artist Humphrey Ocean giving an account of Tony Benn and sittings with him.

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Visit Collected Archives

Archive material that has been acquired by the Gallery from external sources because of its relevance to the study of British portraiture.

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Collected Archives

A collection of manuscripts that relate to British portraiture and specifically to artists and portraits represented in the Gallery's collection.

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