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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Gold, Gold leaf

Gold leaf is a very thin metal foil which is available in a wide variety of carats and shades. 23-carat gold is the most commonly used variety. Layering gold leaf over a surface is sometimes called gold leafing, and is a very common form of gilding. Before the discovery of electroplating, it was the only cost effective way to gild statues, cornices, the exterior of domes or other objects. To avoid the high price of gold there are a variety of imitation gold leaf products available which are usually referred collectively as imitation leaf.

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Enter our Jubilee family competition

Submit your family’s recreation of a Royal portrait to win some Jubilee goodies

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Discover our BP Next Generation short films made by artists. Follow step by step guides in drawing and painting techniques.

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Hold Still

Hold Still photography workshop

Reflect on your own experiences of lockdown through this easy-to-do from home, photographic exercise. 

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Draw Like a Renaissance Master

Revisit The Encounter exhibition and learn about Renaissance and Baroque drawing methods and materials.

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