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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Biro

A kind of ballpoint pen - a pen that has a small ball-bearing at its tip that picks up ink by rolling against an ink reservoir. Available in several colours and, although not a precise tool, biros are sometimes favoured for drawing because of the lively spontaneous marks they make.

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Artist and sitter interviews

Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.

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Sleeping Awake

Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.

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