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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Fluid used for writing, printing or drawing, or painting. Ink was traditionally made with ground lamp black or some other colouring matter and a solution of glue or gum, then moulded into dry sticks or blocks to be mixed with water. Two basic types of ink are available. Waterproof inks dry to a glossy film which can be overlaid with another medium. Non-waterproof inks give an effect of diluted watercolour, drying to a matt finish.

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Our channel

View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.

Sit back and watch

Artist and sitter interviews

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

Explore behind the scenes

Sleeping Awake

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

Hear our story