The online database contains information on over 213,000 works, 143,000 of which are illustrated; the National Portrait Gallery's collection includes over 350,000 works. More catalogued and digitised portraits appear every day of the week.
Searches are not case sensitive.
The title of a portrait often contains the name of a sitter.
If you are having problems finding the portraits you require try entering just one whole or partial word from the name or title, e.g. try using 'churchill' instead of 'winston churchill'. This can be especially useful when searching for royals.
If you are searching for royalty using ordinal numbers, e.g. Elizabeth I, remember that roman numerals are being used so you should enter a capital 'i' rather than the number '1'.
To perform a simple search first enter:
a whole or partial name, e.g. church, churchill, Sir Winston Spencer Churchill or winst church
a whole or partial portrait title, e.g. flow, flower, Flower Girl or flow gir
the NPG number of a specific portrait (with or without the NPG prefix) e.g. NPG P7(26) or P7(26).
Finally click the arrow to launch your search.
The Advanced search enables you to place further restrictions on a search.
To perform an advanced search first decide whether you wish to search for a person or a portrait
If you wish to search for a person you can restrict the search by:
entering a whole or partial name into the Name of Person field, e.g. church, churchill, Sir Winston Spencer Churchill or winst church
selecting sitters only, artists only or both sitters and artists
entering a occupations or roles into the 'Description of Person' field, e.g. mistress, duke.
NB this field sometimes contains pen names and aliases, if you are having difficulty finding a particular person you might try entering their name here.
selecting a category of profession from those listed in the 'Professional category' field, e.g. Royalty and Society.
The list of people or portraits returned by an advanced search will match all of the search criteria that you have selected.