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.

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Academic licence details

The National Portrait Gallery Academic Licence

All images on this website are protected,  according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, 1988 (as amended).

Where available, through this self-service licensing and download facility, images can be obtained for reproduction in non-commercial scholarly books and journals, and certain other specified non-commercial uses, free of charge. Where not available through this facility, images must be obtained through our other licensing options, and additional costs (and therefore charges) will apply.

We consider a project to be non-commercial and scholarly only when its primary intention is to broaden knowledge. Scholarly work undertaken in universities or other publicly funded research institutions normally qualifies as non-commercial. Non-commercial research is research whose objective is to put new ideas into the public domain for public benefit and at no cost to the end user. It will therefore normally be financed from public or charitable funds.

If you wish to apply for the use of images under our Academic Licence, where possible you should apply using an email address from a recognised University or educational institution. You may be required to submit texts or other evidence as proof of academic use.

Permitted uses

Applications for images supplied under the Academic Licence may be granted, at our discretion:

  • for a single copy of an image by one person for non-commercial research or private study, or
  • for one-off use in the educational establishment named in the application, including use in a non-commercial presentation or lecture provided it is made at no cost to the end user, or
  • for reproduction within a thesis document submitted by a student at an educational establishment (an electronic version of the research may be stored online as long as it is made available at no cost to the end user), or
  • for reproduction within (but not on the cover of) a specified book, journal article or booklet, provided that the publication is non-commercial in purpose, is not being sold to generate profit, and has a combined print-run/e-book total of not more than 2,000 copies for books and 4,000 copies for journals. In addition to the print run/e-book total, permission includes posting the publication on an open access website, provided that access to the website and the publication is at no cost to the end user, for the life of the website.

Terms and conditions

In respect of all images supplied and licences granted via this facility:

  • These images are licensed for a specific one-time use in a specified context by a specified user and may not be used except as licensed, and
    • these images may therefore not be passed on for third-party use;
    • if further print-runs/downloads are required, beyond the licensed total of 2,000 copies for books and 4,000 copies for journals, a licence extension must be secured, in advance, from [email protected]  and charges will apply.
  • These images must each be captioned with the name of the artist, title of the portrait, and credited: '© National Portrait Gallery, London'.
  • These images may not be cropped, over-printed or manipulated in any way.
  • These images may not be used in any way which is unlawful or deceptive or which damages the good name or reputation of the National Portrait Gallery, the artist, or the persons depicted in the images.
  • This licence confers no copyright or proprietary right in these images.

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.

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Hold Still

Hold Still

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Margaret Thatcher by Spitting Images Productions Ltd painted plastic, 1985

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David Hockney: Drawing from Life

Watch highlights from our special exhibition, which had to close early in March 2020 due to lockdown.

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