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

P.D. James

(1920-2014), Writer and public servant

Phyllis Dorothy ('P.D.') James, Baroness James of Holland Park

Sitter in 9 portraits
Author and former civil servant, James was appointed Principal in the Home Office (1968) and served with the Police Department (1968-72) and Criminal Policy Department (1972-79). A governor of the BBC (1988-1993) and writer of crime fiction, James created the detective Adam Dalgliesh, protagonist of many works including Shroud for a Nightingale (1971), The Black Tower (1975) and Devices and Desires (1989), all of which have been televised. Another novel, Original Sin was published in 1994. She was created Baroness in 1991.

Watch a film clip on the sitter in the Media section below

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

P.D. James, by Nick Sinclair - NPG P563(23)

P.D. James

by Nick Sinclair
bromide print, 1992
NPG P563(23)

P.D. James, by Michael Taylor - NPG 6361

P.D. James

by Michael Taylor
oil on canvas, 1996
NPG 6361

P.D. James, by Miriam Reik - NPG x34105

P.D. James

by Miriam Reik
cibachrome print, 1980s
NPG x34105

P.D. James, by Dudley Reed - NPG x32170

P.D. James

by Dudley Reed
bromide print on card mount, 1983
NPG x32170

P.D. James, by Lucinda Douglas-Menzies - NPG x35164

P.D. James

by Lucinda Douglas-Menzies
bromide fibre print, 1990
NPG x35164

P.D. James, by Mark Gerson - NPG x88233

P.D. James

by Mark Gerson
cibachrome print from original transparency, December 1993
NPG x88233

P.D. James, by David Harrison - NPG x76442

P.D. James

by David Harrison
bromide fibre print, 1995
NPG x76442

P.D. James, by Nicola Kurtz - NPG x126024

P.D. James

by Nicola Kurtz
bromide fibre print, December 2001
NPG x126024

Web image not currently available

P.D. James

by Spencer Murphy
C-type colour print
NPG x199779



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.

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