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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Palette

A thin board or tablet, usually oval or oblong, for laying out and mixing paint. Traditionally wooden and with a hole for the thumb, they can come in almost any shape or size and be made from any type of non-absorbent material such as ceramic, glass or marble. The term is also used to refer to the range of colours used by an artist in a painting.

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Emilia Francis (née Strong), Lady Dilke
by Pauline, Lady Trevelyan (née Jermyn), and Laura Capel Lofft (later Lady Trevelyan)
circa 1864
NPG 1828a

Sir Matthew Smith
by Lola Walker (Lola Marsden)
6 April 1951
NPG x125622

Duncan Grant
by Jane Bown
1978
NPG x28622

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Visit From Your Armchair

Self-portrait as My Father from the series Encounter  by Silvia Rosi © Silvia Rosi

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

An online exhibition celebrating the very best in contemporary portrait photography.

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Hold Still

Hold Still

Explore our community photography project, which presents a personal record of the UK during lockdown.

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Margaret Thatcher by Spitting Images Productions Ltd painted plastic, 1985

Sculptures in 360°

See sculptures and fascinating objects from our Collection from all angles.

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David Hockney: Drawing from Life

Watch highlights from our special exhibition, which had to close early in March 2020 due to lockdown.

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