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.

Researching portraits

The Gallery provides a number of Enquiry Services. Or you can conduct your own online research through searching the Gallery’s collection for sitters or artists or by consulting the list of Useful Resources provided below.

Search the collection

Search by sitter or artist surname within over 200,000 portraits.

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Heinz Archive and Library

Open by appointment to visitors who are interested in any aspect of British portraiture or in the history of the Gallery.

Find out more Higher Education group visits

About the collection

Insights into the Primary Collection, including paintings and sculpture; the Reference Collection, including prints and the Photographs Collection.

Primary collection Reference collection Photographs collection Find out more


Catalogues and books promoting Gallery exhibitions and portraiture, focussing on fine art, photography, history and biography.

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