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

Princes of Victorian Bohemia: Photographs by David Wilkie Wynfield

Frederic Leighton, Baron Leighton by David Wilkie Wynfield albumen print, 1860s - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Frederic Leighton, Baron Leighton
by David Wilkie Wynfield
albumen print, 1860s
© National Portrait Gallery, London

Past exhibition archive 
28 January - 14 May 2000

Photography Gallery

Admission Free

In the 1860s the painter David Wilkie Wynfield produced a series of strikingly original photographic portraits of his artist contemporaries. He used a narrow depth-of-field, dramatic close-ups and historical costume to model his sitters in the image of the courtiers and noblemen painted by the Old Masters. Wynfield was one of the first photographers to use 'soft-focus' as a means to create artistic photography and his works inspired Julia Margaret Cameron.

A fully illustrated book by Juliet Hacking, curator of the exhibition, is available from the Gallery shop at the end of January, published by Prestel, price £19.95.

Listen

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