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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Period Catalogues

The National Portrait Gallery has been publishing detailed Collection Catalogues since 1963. The distinguishing feature of these catalogues is their arrangement by sitter, rather than by artist, while cataloguing individual portraits as works of art. For each sitter, an iconography treating portraits in other collections is also included.

Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, portrait of Sir Henry Lee

Tudor and Jacobean Portraits

Roy Strong’s out-of-print Collection Catalogue (16th and early 17th century)

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Seventeenth Century Portraits, portrait of Dudley Carleton, Viscount Dorchester

Seventeenth Century Portraits

A sample entry from David Piper’s out-of-print Collection Catalogue. Partly superseded by Early and Later Stuart Portraits Catalogues.

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Early Stuart Portraits, portrait of Dorothy, Lady Browne (née Mileham); Sir Thomas Browne

Early Stuart Portraits

Sample entries written by John Ingamells. Further support is needed to continue researching and writing catalogue entries (17th century).

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Later Stuart Portraits, Portrait of Catherine Sedley, Countess of Dorchester

Later Stuart Portraits

Extended entries from John Ingamells’ Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue (17th century)

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Early Georgian Portraits, portrait of Alexander Pope by William Hoare

Early Georgian Portraits

Extended entries from John Kerslake’s Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue (18th century)

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Mid-Georgian Portraits, portrait of Sir Joshua Reynolds

Mid-Georgian Portraits

Extended entries from John Ingamells’ Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue (18th century)

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Regency Portraits, portrait of Jane Austen by Cassandra Austen

Regency Portraits

Extended entries from Richard Walker’s Regency Portraits Catalogue (18th-19th century)

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Early Victorian Portraits, portrait of Elizabeth I

Early Victorian Portraits

Extended entries from Richard Ormond’s Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue (19th century)

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Later Victorian Portraits, portrait Aubrey Beardsley

Later Victorian Portraits

A major project on cataloguing in depth the Gallery’s collection of later Victorian portraits (19th-20th century), led by Dr Peter Funnell.

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Twentieth Century Portraits, portrait of Iris Murdoch

Twentieth Century Portraits

Sample entries written by Paul Moorhouse. The Gallery continues to collect primary material for future work in cataloguing the 20th century Collection.

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