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

Search the Collection

Philosophers


208 People in group

Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour

Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour

1848-1930
Prime Minister and philosopher
Sitter in 138 portraits
Sir Isaiah Berlin

Sir Isaiah Berlin

1909-1997
Philosopher and political theorist
Sitter in 11 portraits
Robert Boyle

Robert Boyle

1627-1691
Chemist and natural philosopher
Sitter associated with 22 portraits
Sir David Brewster

Sir David Brewster

1781-1868
Natural philosopher and academic administrator
Sitter in 18 portraits
Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke

1729-1797
Statesman; orator; author
Sitter associated with 106 portraits
John Dalton

John Dalton

1766-1844
Chemist and natural philosopher
Sitter in 15 portraits
Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

1809-1882
Naturalist, geologist and originator of the theory of evolution
Sitter in 35 portraits
Sir Humphry Davy, Bt

Sir Humphry Davy, Bt

1778-1829
Natural philosopher
Sitter in 20 portraits
René Descartes

René Descartes

1596-1650
French philosopher and mathematician
Sitter in 10 portraits
Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

1862-1932
Philosopher
Sitter associated with 29 portraits
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

1803-1882
Poet and philosopher
Sitter in 8 portraits
Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

1706-1790
Statesman; signer of the Declaration of Independence
Sitter in 8 portraits
William Godwin

William Godwin

1756-1836
Philosopher and novelist
Sitter in 13 portraits
Richard Burdon Haldane, Viscount Haldane

Richard Burdon Haldane, Viscount Haldane

1856-1928
Statesman, lawyer and philosopher
Sitter in 40 portraits
Stephen Hales

Stephen Hales

1677-1761
Natural philosopher, chemist and inventor
Sitter in 6 portraits
George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax

George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax

1633-1695
Political philosopher
Sitter associated with 13 portraits
Friedrich August von Hayek

Friedrich August von Hayek

1899-1992
Economist and political philosopher
Sitter in 14 portraits
Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes

1588-1679
Social philosopher
Sitter associated with 21 portraits
Richard Hooker

Richard Hooker

1554-1600
Theologian and philosopher
Sitter associated with 17 portraits
David Hume

David Hume

1711-1776
Philosopher and historian
Sitter in 6 portraits
John Locke

John Locke

1632-1704
Philosopher
Sitter in 36 portraits
Harriet Martineau

Harriet Martineau

1802-1876
Social philosopher and writer
Sitter in 9 portraits
John Stuart Mill

John Stuart Mill

1806-1873
Social philosopher, economist and advocate of women's rights
Sitter in 20 portraits
Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch

1919-1999
Novelist and philosopher
Sitter in 35 portraits
Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton

1642-1727
Mathematical scientist
Sitter associated with 46 portraits
Onora Sylvia O'Neill, Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve

Onora Sylvia O'Neill, Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve

1941-
Philosopher, writer and academic
Sitter in 2 portraits
Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine

1737-1809
Author of 'The Rights of Man'
Sitter in 12 portraits
Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope

1688-1744
Poet
Sitter associated with 46 portraits
Sir Karl Raimund Popper

Sir Karl Raimund Popper

1902-1994
Philosopher
Sitter in 5 portraits
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

1809-1865
Economist and socialist philosopher
Sitter in 1 portrait
Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell

1872-1970
Philosopher, mathematician and social reformer
Sitter in 119 portraits
Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre

1905-1980
Novelist and playwright; philosopher and exponent of Existentialism
Sitter in 2 portraits
Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer

1875-1965
Physician, musician and philosopher
Sitter associated with 1 portrait
Roger Vernon Scruton

Roger Vernon Scruton

1944-2020
Writer and philosopher
Sitter in 1 portrait
Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury

Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury

1671-1713
Philosopher and writer on the fine arts
Sitter in 8 portraits
Adam Smith

Adam Smith

1723-1790
Political economist
Sitter in 6 portraits
Socrates

Socrates

circa 469-399 BC
Greek philosopher
Sitter associated with 1 portrait
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban

Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban

1561-1626
Philosopher and Lord Chancellor
Sitter associated with 63 portraits
Sir Leslie Stephen

Sir Leslie Stephen

1832-1904
Writer, philosopher, mountaineer and first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography; Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery
Sitter in 13 portraits

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