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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Self image

Devised by Sadie Lee & Liz Rideal


This part of the website deals with both male and female self-portraits - almost all of the examples are taken from the National Portrait Gallery collection. All the images are self-portraits.

For an exclusively feminine view see... Mirror Mirror

Mary Beale
by Mary Beale
circa 1666
NPG 1687

A self-portrait can be as varied and limitless as our imaginations. It is more than a mere mirror reflection. A self-portrait can be an exact likeness or an abstract whirl of thoughts and feelings. It has the potential to create a myth, tell a story, suggest sadness or joy. A self-portrait is a person's version of themselves.