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.

Advanced Collection search


Term describing effects of light and shade in a work of art, especially when there is strong contrast between the two. Sometimes a dramatic effect is created in a painting by a shaft of light, which gives sharp shadows like that given by a spotlight.

Previous 1 OF 2 Next

Sir Christopher Wren
by Elisha Kirkall, after Henry Cook (Cooke), after John Closterman
circa 1720-1742
NPG D18735

The Death of the Earl of Chatham
by John Singleton Copley
NPG L146

Joan Collins
by Cornel Lucas
NPG x27871

Christine Keeler
by Lewis Morley
NPG P512(13)

Steve Martland
by Andrew Catlin
June 1989
NPG x35991

Linford Christie
by Alistair Morrison
February 1996
NPG x77035

Previous 1 OF 2 Next

Do, draw and make!

Do, draw and make!

From building dens to food faces – enjoy our Playful Portraits activities and find out about some brilliant people!

Get Creative

Healthcare Heroes

Activities for children and families inspired by three healthcare heroes from our Collection.

Learn together

Learning resources

Downloadable and web based resources to support learning at home linked to art, history, citizenship and literacy.

Get learning