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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Art

Investigate a wide variety of portraits in different media from our collection and exhibitions through a series of resources and be inspired to create your own artworks in response. Read interviews with artists and sitters to find out more about how portraits are made across a range of media.


David Hockney

Teachers’ Resource

Key stage 3-5

This teachers’ resource is designed for use in the gallery or the classroom and explores key themes and drawing techniques in the exhibition David Hockney: Drawing from Life. The resource includes discussion points and drawing activities to promote critical thinking and making in response to Hockney’s portraits of himself and his close friends and family.

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Cindy Sherman

Teachers’ Resource

Key stage 3-5

This teachers’ resource is designed for use in the gallery or the classroom and explores key themes in the exhibition including identity, transformation, disguise and popular culture. The resource includes questions to promote critical thinking and discussion around Cindy Sherman’s work and practice.

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Kentucky Derby, Louisville, USA, 2015 by Martin Parr © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos / Rocket Gallery

Martin Parr

Teachers’ Resource

Key stage 3-5

This teachers’ resource is designed for use in the gallery or the classroom and explores key themes in the exhibition Martin Parr: Only Human. The resource includes points for discussion and activities for students to create their own photographs in response.

Download the PDF

 

Young People’s Guide to Self-Portraiture

This guide to self-portraiture is a creative resource made by young people for young people that examines themes explored by artists through the self-portraits they create.

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Image and Identity

Eight resources which explore ideas, methods and approaches used by artists to portray themselves and others.

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Art Techniques

Five resources: Investigating drawing, self-portraiture, perspective, dressing up and what contemporary portraits look like. Compare old and new portraits and their techniques.

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Art materials

Explore definitions as they relate to the Collections and a special feature on different materials and techniques used in drawn portraits.

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Photographers in Focus

Explore our behind the scenes interviews with photographers from the Collection.

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Mo Mowlam (detail) by John Keane © National Portrait Gallery, London

Interviews with artists and sitters

Explore how contemporary portraits were realised through interviews with artists and sitters, talking about the portrait process.

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Play

Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs

Test your memory by playing our matching pairs game. Three levels of difficulty make it fun for the whole family.

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Regency familiar faces

Rearrange tiles to uncover sitters from the Gallery's Collection by playing our puzzle game.

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Who do you think you were?

Answer a few lifestyle questions about the Elizabethan period and discover your inner Elizabethan!

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