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

Ralph Vaughan Williams

(1872-1958), Composer

Sitter in 34 portraits
Vaughan Williams studied with Parry at the Royal College of Music, with Brüch in Berlin and Ravel in Paris. He was a leading figure, with Holst, in the folk-song revival and shifted the course of English-language hymnody with his English Hymnal (1906). Teacher of Composition at the Royal College of Music (1919-39), he established a native school of music based on choral and ballad traditions. He composed nine symphonies, operas, ballets, chamber music, and secular and religious vocal music. Notable works include: A Sea Symphony (1910), based on Walt Whitman's poems, A London Symphony (1914) and The Lark Ascending (1914-20). His score for the film Scott of the Antarctic became the Sinfonia Antarctica (1952).

Tell us More

 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Make a donation Close

List Thumbnail

Ralph Vaughan Williams, by Robin Darwin - NPG 5495

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by Robin Darwin
oil on canvas, circa 1922
NPG 5495

Ralph Vaughan Williams, by Sibella Bonham-Carter - NPG 5022

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by Sibella Bonham-Carter
watercolour and pencil, 1928
NPG 5022

Ralph Vaughan Williams, by Joy Finzi (Joyce Amy) - NPG 4086

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by Joy Finzi (Joyce Amy)
pencil and chalk, 1947
NPG 4086

Ralph Vaughan Williams, by Yousuf Karsh - NPG P490(81)

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by Yousuf Karsh
bromide print, 1949
NPG P490(81)

Ralph Vaughan Williams, by Yousuf Karsh - NPG P490(82)

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by Yousuf Karsh
bromide print, 1949
NPG P490(82)

Ralph Vaughan Williams, by David McFall - NPG 4088

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by David McFall
bronze head, 1958, based on a work of 1956
NPG 4088

Ralph Vaughan Williams, by Sir Gerald Kelly - NPG 4829

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by Sir Gerald Kelly
oil on canvas, 1958-1961
NPG 4829

Ralph Vaughan Williams, by Herbert Lambert - NPG Ax7744

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by Herbert Lambert
photogravure, early 1920s
NPG Ax7744

Ralph Vaughan Williams, by Walter Stoneman - NPG x4127

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, January 1936
NPG x4127

Ralph Vaughan Williams, by Douglas Glass - NPG x33970

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by Douglas Glass
vintage bromide print, 7 August 1949
NPG x33970

Ralph Vaughan Williams, by Norman Parkinson - NPG x30012

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by Norman Parkinson
bromide print on card mount, 1951
NPG x30012

Ralph Vaughan Williams, by Howard Coster - NPG x2143

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1954
NPG x2143

Ralph Vaughan Williams, by Howard Coster - NPG x2369

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1954
NPG x2369

Web image not currently available

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by Walter Stoneman
half-plate glass copy negative, August 1949 (January 1936)
NPG x190218

Web image not currently available

Ralph Vaughan Williams

by Howard Coster
35mm negative, 1940s
NPG x19700


Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.


Scientific techniques

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

Watch now

Subjects and themes

Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!

Discover the Collection

Black History Month

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

Take the tour

A Picture of Health

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

Explore the timeline