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

Punch's artists

Past display archive
June - September 2005

Victorian Galleries


From its first issue in July 1841, the satirical magazine Punch developed into a Victorian institution. Initially, the visual aspect of Punch was confined to tiny woodcuts scattered throughout the columns of text and a full page 'Pencilling' on a social or political theme. Gradually, leading illustrators such as Richard Doyle, John Tenniel and John Leech joined the Punch team and contributed more ambitious 'cartoons'- a term coined by the magazine ­ ranging more broadly across themes taken from contemporary social life and manners.

The display in these showcases focuses on three Punch artists whose association with the magazine extends from the earliest numbers, in the case of Leech, to the 1890s in the work of Charles Keene and George Du Maurier. Each also worked independently but contributing to Punch was at the heart of their careers.

Visit From Your Armchair

Self-portrait as My Father from the series Encounter  by Silvia Rosi © Silvia Rosi

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

An online exhibition celebrating the very best in contemporary portrait photography.

Visit now

Hold Still

Hold Still

Explore our community photography project, which presents a personal record of the UK during lockdown.

Explore the exhibition

Margaret Thatcher by Spitting Images Productions Ltd painted plastic, 1985

Sculptures in 360°

See sculptures and fascinating objects from our Collection from all angles.

View the 360s

David Hockney: Drawing from Life

Watch highlights from our special exhibition, which had to close early in March 2020 due to lockdown.

See the video