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.

Advanced Collection search

Investigating drawing - Sketchbook

Artists often have sketchbooks as on going note books, used to keep quick sketches altogether for quick reference. The Gallery owns several sketchbooks by Graham Sutherland, including one of compositional studies for his first portrait of Somerset Maugham in 1949 (Tate Gallery). The sketchbook also contains studies of the Côte d'Azur landscape where the portrait was painted.

Click on the page above to see more pages from the Maugham sketchbook.


Other techniques and materials



Become a Member

Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more

Join today

Get social

Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.

Facebook Instagram Twitter


Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.

Sign up