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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Art materials

Explore definitions and selected portraits from the Gallery's Collections in relation to over 140 different terms in this glossary of medium and support relating to painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking and photography.

Painting

Glossary painting

Acrylic Airbrush Brush Canvas Cardboard Diptych Enamel Gesso Gilding Glaze Grisaille Ground Hardboard Impasto Linen Millboard Miniature Mixed media Oil Palette Palette knife Panel Pigment Plywood Polychromy Polyptych Stencil Stipple Tempera Triptych

Photography

Glossary photography

Albumen print Ambrotype Autochrome Bromesco Bromide print C-type colour print Cabinet print Calotype Carbon print Carte-de-visite Chlorobromide print Cibachrome print Collotype Contact Print Cyanotype Daguerreotype Digital imaging Diptych Dye-transfer print Embellishment Glass magic lantern/ slide Glass positive Hand-coloured Hologram Kodalith LCD screen Monochrome Negative Photo collage Photogalvanograph Photogravure Photomontage Platinotype Platinum print, Palladium print Polaroid Salt paper process Silver print or gelatin silver print Solarized print process Stereograph Vintage Print

Drawing

Glossary drawing

Biro Body colour Caricature Cartoon Chalk Charcoal Chiaorscuro Collage Conté crayon Crayon Goldpoint Gouache Hatching Heightening Indian ink Ink Paper Pastel Pen Pen, ink and wash Pencil Plumbago Pouncing Sanguine Sepia Sgraffito Silhouette Silverpoint Stencil Stipple Stump Tracing, Tracing paper Vellum Wash Watercolour Wax resist

Printmaking

Glossary printmaking

Aquatint Caricature Chromolithograph Cigarette cards Drypoint Engraving Etching Ferrotype Gravure Intaglio Linocut Lithograph Lithographic chalk Mezzotint Platinotype Proof print Silk-screen printing Stipple Woodburytype Wood engraving Woodcut

Sculpture

Glossary sculpture

Assemblage Bronze Bust Cameo Carving Casting Ceramic Chasing Clay Cold cast Death mask Electrotyping Embossed Finishing Gold, Gold leaf Life mask Limestone Marble Medal Medallion Mixed media Modelling Mosaic Mould-making New materials Papier-mâché Parian ware Patination Plaque Plaster Plasticine Polyptych Relief Resin Sculptoon Statue Statuette Stone Terracotta Wax Wedgwood

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Pioneer Podcasts

Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.

Explore the podcasts

Untitled, c.1973 (Alex Chilton) by William Eggleston © Eggleston Artistic Trust

Eggleston Playlist

William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.

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Archive interviews

Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.

Watch, listen and read