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.


Made by a monochrome printing process, Platinum prints, also called platinotypes, are photographic prints that provide the greatest tonal range of any printing method using chemical development. Dissimilar from the silver print process, platinum lies on the paper surface, while silver lies in a gelatin or albumen emulsion that coats the paper. As a result, since no gelatin emulsion is used, the final platinum image is absolutely matte with a deposit of platinum (and/or palladium, its sister element which is also used in most platinum photographs) absorbed slightly into the paper. Most platinum printing ended around 1914, as the platinum was needed to manufacture high explosives for World War I.

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Frederick Walker in Directoire dress
copied by London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company
1870s (1868)
NPG x13281

Silvia Constance Myers; Leopold Hamilton Myers
by Eveleen Myers (née Tennant)
circa 1890
NPG Ax68387

Mrs Patrick Campbell
by Frederick Hollyer
NPG P229

John Ruskin
by Sarah Angelina Acland
1 August 1893
NPG x5588

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