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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A variety of finishes are available to sculptors, some involving colour. Bronze may be coloured by patination with chemicals; colours can vary from deep brown, gold, to greens and blues reminiscent of the natural corrosion of the metal. Stone can be given a highly smooth finish using abrasives or be left in a more rugged, natural state. Wood can be left natural, or polished, or painted; ceramics may be glazed, which involves firing them to melt the glass in the glaze. New materials are generally painted, although clear resins can be very effective uncoloured. Plaster needs a protective coating of wax or varnish.

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Colley Cibber
possibly from the studio of Sir Henry Cheere, 1st Bt
circa 1740
NPG 1045

Edith Sitwell
by Maurice Lambert
1985, based on a work of circa 1926-1927
NPG 5801

Sir William Turner Walton
by Maurice Lambert
circa 1925
NPG 5913

James Joyce
by Renée Mendel (née Rosa Minna Mendel)
NPG 5883

T.S. Eliot
by Jacob Epstein
NPG 4440

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Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs

Test your memory by playing our matching pairs game. Three levels of difficulty make it fun for the whole family.

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Regency familiar faces

Rearrange tiles to uncover sitters from the Gallery's Collection by playing our puzzle game.

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Who do you think you were?

Answer a few lifestyle questions about the Elizabethan period and discover your inner Elizabethan!

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