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.

Advanced Collection search


One of a variety of finishes used by sculptors on metal, it is a technique involving naturally or artificially created surface alterations. It also includes coatings applied such as drying oils and paint. Bronzes may be coloured by patination with chemicals; colours can vary from deep brown, through gold, to greens and blues resembling the natural corrosion of the metal. A chemically patinated surface could then be coated with a drying oil and a lacquer to give a gloss or more colour.

Page 1 OF 2
Page 1 OF 2

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.

Visit now

Hold Still

Hold Still

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

Explore the exhibition

Margaret Thatcher by Spitting Images Productions Ltd painted plastic, 1985

Sculptures in 360°

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

View the 360s

David Hockney: Drawing from Life

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

See the video