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


Some individual keywords linked to Activity are illustrated with a selection of portraits below. To explore the full list of keywords and within each the full set of portraits in each category, go to the Subjects and Themes section under Portrait in Advanced Search and choose the Activity ... option.


Portraits that show sitters dancing or in places where dancing takes place.

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Drinking and eating

Portraits that show sitters drinking or eating, or where food and drink figure prominently.

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Making art

Portraits that show painters, sculptors and photographers in the act of making art.

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Making music

Portraits that show musicians making music or holding musical instruments.

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Portraits that show sitters reading or holding books and other reading material.

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Portraits that show sitters sleeping or at rest with their eyes closed.

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Portraits that show sitters smoking or holding cigarettes, cigars and pipes.

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Portraits that show sitters writing or holding writing materials.

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