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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Specially developed downloadable PDFs, audio and web-based resources to support school-based learning around portraiture and the Gallery’s exhibitions and the Collection.

The pequi tree by Simone Strijk © Simone Strijk
The pequi tree (detail) by Simone Strijk © Simone Strijk

Seeing Me Seeing You

Activity Pack

Our photographic portraits activity pack features lots of fun activities to do at school and home. Be inspired by the photographic portraits to try drawing, writing, role playing and making photographs.

Download the PDF

Healthcare Heroes

Activities for children and families inspired by three healthcare heroes from our Collection.

Learn together

Mindful Drawing

Take 5 minutes out of your day to relax and focus on a mindful drawing activity.

Start drawing

School by Marcela (aged 17 years) Dagenham, London

Hold Still

Key stage 1-5

Teachers and pupils are invited to engage with the stories in the Hold Still digital exhibition, reflect on their own experience of lockdown, and respond creatively by making portrait photographs. The resource includes discussion points and practical activities accessible for children of all ages and abilities.

Download the PDF

Family Activities: Playful Portraits front cover

Family Activities: Playful Portraits

Draw and make while discovering more about the Gallery’s Collection and these brilliant people.

Get creative

BP Next Generation 2020

These short films made by artists offer ideas, advice and skills-sharing for making portraits. Follow the step by step guides to build confidence in a range of drawing and painting techniques.

Make Art

Lucian Freud (detail) by Lucian Freud © The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images


Investigate and study a variety of portraits in different media from our collection through a series of resources organized thematically. Art techniques, Image and Identity, Portrait Photography, the Practice of Portraiture and Webquests.

Find out more

Queen Elizabeth I (detail) by Unknown English artist © National Portrait Gallery, London


Discover more about our collection and learn to read portraits as historical evidence.

Find out more

Benjamin Zephaniah (detail) by Donald MacLellan © Donald MacLellan


Discover the faces of poets working today. Explore how photography and portraiture can enhance and shape poetry learning.

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Our channel

View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.

Sit back and watch

Artist and sitter interviews

Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.

Explore behind the scenes

Sleeping Awake

Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.

Hear our story