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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Papier-mâché

A material made of pulped paper mixed with glue, or sheets of paper glued together. It can readily be pressed in a mould. When dry, a hard surface is formed which can be painted, varnished, gilded or decorated. It is a cheap method which is very useful in mixed media as it can take on many forms. In sculpture it is used for large lightweight structures built up on a frame of wire.

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Scientific techniques

Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.

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Subjects and themes

Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!

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Black History Month

Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.

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A Picture of Health

Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.

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