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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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Entries continue to be added to the Gallery’s Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue available on the website. The size of this part of the collection guided our approach to compiling the catalogue and the decision that this is the first of the Gallery’s period catalogues to be published online. Rather than following an A-Z name sequence, research is conducted according to subject or vocational area. This allows us to publish the catalogue in phased tranches.

The first four tranches –artists and art world figures, travellers and explorers, social reformers and philanthropists, and medical pioneers – are now online with Actors and the Theatre World in progress. They include major names such as: Julia Margaret Cameron, William Morris, Sir Richard Burton, H.M. Stanley, Samuel Smiles, Octavia Hill, Joseph Lister, Florence Nightingale and Ellen Terry. 

The catalogue provides detailed accounts of the portraits of these individuals in the Gallery’s collection, plus comprehensive listings of other known portraits of them in all media. The catalogue therefore contributes to our understanding of portraiture during the first age of portrait photography and the mass dissemination of portrait images of the famous.

Work on medical figures has been made possible thanks to generous support over two years from Walgreens Boots Alliance. See A Picture of Health timeline here.

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