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

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.

Get Creative

Develop your art skills

Discover our BP Next Generation short films made by artists. Follow step by step guides in drawing and painting techniques.

Improve your skills

Hold Still

Hold Still photography workshop

Reflect on your own experiences of lockdown through this easy-to-do from home, photographic exercise. 

Watch the video

Draw Like a Renaissance Master

Revisit The Encounter exhibition and learn about Renaissance and Baroque drawing methods and materials.

Improve your technique