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 new photographic portraits activity pack features lots of fun activities to do at school and home. Be inspired by the portraits included in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2020 and try drawing, writing, role playing and taking 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.

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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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Harry Stopes-Roe; Marie Stopes (detail) by Bassano Ltd © National Portrait Gallery, London


Discover ideas and lines of enquiry for how portraiture can support citizenship teaching in your classroom.

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Gallery blog

Read our latest news and have your say.

Join the conversation

Tell us More about our silhouettes, photograph of Hubert Leslie, Silhouettist

Identify our Silhouettes

Join enthusiastic contributors who have already identified 155 sitters.

Help transcribe signatures

Tell us More about our Silvy sitters, photograph of Camille Silvy, photographer with boy

Tell us more about our Silvy sitters

Help us identify the sitters who visited Camille Silvy’s photographic studio during the 1860s.

Identify our sitters