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

18th Century Galleries - © Colin Streater

18th Century Galleries
© Colin Streater

The Gallery is a great place to relax and spend some time with friends. Our building, like our collection of portraits, is a wonderful mix of old and new. Discover the magnificent historic rooms, explore the contemporary galleries and enjoy the light and airy modern spaces including our IT Gallery and the stunning rooftop Portrait Restaurant with its spectacular views across the London skyline.

How to plan your visit

The galleries are arranged and numbered chronologically starting with the Tudor galleries on Floor 2 and ending with the contemporary collection in the Lerner Galleries on the ground floor. The escalator from the Ondaatje Wing Main Hall is a good place to start your visit as this will take you to the beginning of the Collection.

Alternatively, if you are interested in a particular period of history use our online room by room guide to find the relevant gallery.

If you would like to find a specific sitter, portrait or artist you can search online and find out what is currently on display. At the Gallery you can use the Portrait Explorer touch-screens in the IT Gallery to find out where specific portraits are and even create and print your own tour.

The Gallery is constantly changing with new commissions and acquisitions and a varied programme of temporary gallery displays and major exhibitions. Use our events calendar to find out what's on or pick up the What's On brochure at the Gallery.


Opening times


Portrait Restaurant

Portrait Café


Pioneer Podcasts

Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.

Explore the podcasts

Untitled, c.1973 (Alex Chilton) by William Eggleston © Eggleston Artistic Trust

Eggleston Playlist

William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.

Listen to the playlist

Archive interviews

Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.

Watch, listen and read