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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History

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


Global Tudors

Teachers’ Resource

Key stage 4-5

This teachers’ resource Microcosms: Illuminating the Global in Tudor and Early Stuart Portraits written by Dr Lauren Working explores issues of Global exchange, migration and the beginnings of empire through portraiture.

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Abolition of slavery

Exploring the history of slavery and its abolition on the 200th anniversary of the passing of the Act to abolish the Slave Trade in Britain in 1807.

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The First World War

Selected objects from the National Portrait Gallery and partner museums provide visual evidence of the War in its local, national and international contexts.

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A Picture of Health

A timeline of pioneers in medicine and social reform

Explore the timeline

The Face of Britain

To coincide with Simon Schama's The Face of Britain exhibition and the accompanying BBC TV series, this resource highlights 10 portraits that demonstrate how the nation has changed over time.

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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

Test your skill

Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick by Sir Thomas Lawrence © National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency familiar faces

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

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Blog

Gallery blog

Read our latest news and have your say.

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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