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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Making History: Printed Portraiture in Tudor and Stuart Britain

Thomas Cavendish
by Jodocus Hondius
circa 1590-1592
NPG 6677

Past display archive
7 July - 9 December 2007

Room 16


Before the age of photography, portrait engravings published as book illustrations created a market for images of celebrated individuals. This display features some of the earliest of the Gallery's portrait prints produced in England and examines how they tell a visual history. It will explore how naval heroes such as Francis Drake and traitors such as the gunpowder plotters became national figures.


Pioneer Podcasts

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

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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.

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Archive interviews

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

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