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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Changing Impressions: The conservation process

This section considers the conservation process in detail.

The work can be divided into six stages:


Recording, Examination and Testing

Surface cleaning

Backing removal


Repairing and Lining

Pressing and Mounting


The Gallery would like to acknowledge the contributions to the project of Clare Reynolds ACR MIPC, who carried out the conservation work, and John Chase, who took the photographs of the work in progress.

Get Creative

Develop your art skills

Discover our BP Next Generation short films made by artists. Follow step by step guides in drawing and painting techniques.

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Hold Still

Hold Still photography workshop

Reflect on your own experiences of lockdown through this easy-to-do from home, photographic exercise. 

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Draw Like a Renaissance Master

Revisit The Encounter exhibition and learn about Renaissance and Baroque drawing methods and materials.

Improve your technique