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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Recent commissions and acquisitions

Past display archive
20 July - 25 September 2005

Room 41 and 41a


On display are some of the Gallery's most recently completed portrait commissions and acquisitions illustrative of the outstanding global contributions made by British men and women across a broad range of achievement. Not to be missed is a striking and unconventional depiction of Alfred Brendel, one of the world's leading pianists, by internationally renowned artist Tony Bevan, which pushes the boundaries of Bevan's previous observations of himself and those around him, and his normal concerns with portraiture.


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View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.

Sit back and watch

Artist and sitter interviews

Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.

Explore behind the scenes

Sleeping Awake

Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.

Hear our story