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

Art Fund Popular Portraits


33 Portraits in set

Objects purchased using an Art Fund New Collecting Award to acquire popular, global and ephemeral portraits for the National Portrait Gallery. Commenced in 2017, this project aims to collect portraits made, owned, displayed and viewed by ordinary people from the medieval period to the present. With a particular focus on pre-1600 material, it explores the ways in which identity was understood and expressed before painted portraiture arrived in Britain in the sixteenth century. Other themes, including ceramic as a medium for portraiture, social and cultural diversity and national heroes will be explored up to the present day. The project aims to demonstrate the impact of portraiture on our everyday visual experience by collecting objects with a range of functions from propaganda to memorialisation.

List Thumbnail

Unknown sitter ('Floor tile with an image of a king or queen'), by Unknown artist - NPG D48194

Unknown sitter ('Floor tile with an image of a king or queen')

by Unknown artist
earthenware floor tile, lead-glazed, 14th century
NPG D48194

Unknown man ('carved wooden roof boss'), by Unknown artist - NPG D48634

Unknown man ('carved wooden roof boss')

by Unknown artist
carved elm roof boss, 15th century
NPG D48634

King William III; Queen Mary II, by Unknown artist - NPG D48625

King William III; Queen Mary II

by Unknown artist
tin-glazed earthenware, painted, circa 1689-1695
NPG D48625

William Shakespeare, by Derby Porcelain Factory - NPG D48654

William Shakespeare

by Derby Porcelain Factory
soft paste porcelain, circa 1770
NPG D48654

Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick, by Unknown artist - NPG D48191

Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick

by Unknown artist
lead glazed and printed earthenware, circa 1820
NPG D48191

Billy Waters, by Unknown artist - NPG D48192

Billy Waters

by Unknown artist
glazed earthenware, circa 1840
NPG D48192

Ellen Eliza Blight (Bright) ('Death of the Lion Queen'), by Unknown artist - NPG D48193

Ellen Eliza Blight (Bright) ('Death of the Lion Queen')

by Unknown artist
glazed earthenware, circa 1850
NPG D48193

William Shakespeare, by Unknown artist - NPG D48655

William Shakespeare

by Unknown artist
Staffordshire pottery bust, circa 1860s
NPG D48655

Queen Victoria, by Unknown artist - NPG D48622

Queen Victoria

by Unknown artist
transfer-printed and hand-coloured earthenware, 1887
NPG D48622

Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (King Edward VIII), designed by Dame Laura Knight, manufactured by  Burgess & Leigh Limited (Burleigh) - NPG D48190

Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (King Edward VIII)

designed by Dame Laura Knight, manufactured by Burgess & Leigh Limited (Burleigh)
printed and painted earthenware, 1936
NPG D48190

Winston Churchill, by Arnold Machin, for  Wedgwood and Bentley - NPG D48652

Winston Churchill

by Arnold Machin, for Wedgwood and Bentley
transfer relief moulded ceramic mug, 1941
NPG D48652

Franklin D. Roosevelt, by Arnold Machin, for  Wedgwood and Bentley - NPG D48653

Franklin D. Roosevelt

by Arnold Machin, for Wedgwood and Bentley
transfer relief moulded ceramic mug, 1941
NPG D48653

Queen Elizabeth II; William Shakespeare (on verso), after Harry Norman Eccleston, after  William Kent - NPG D48662

Queen Elizabeth II; William Shakespeare (on verso)

after Harry Norman Eccleston, after William Kent
steel engraved currency note, 1970-1991
NPG D48662

Queen Elizabeth II ('God Save the Queen'), by Jamie Reid, after  Peter Grugeon, for  The Sex Pistols - NPG D48055

Queen Elizabeth II ('God Save the Queen')

by Jamie Reid, after Peter Grugeon, for The Sex Pistols
vinyl record and sleeve, 1977
NPG D48055

Prince Charles; Diana, Princess of Wales, by Unknown artist - NPG D48063

Prince Charles; Diana, Princess of Wales

by Unknown artist
printed textile, 1981
NPG D48063