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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Head space

Head space

Head space

Step inside and clear your mind

More than ever people are looking for ways to escape the stresses of modern life. According to a study conducted by the Art Fund in 2018, those who said they regularly visited museums and galleries, to learn new things or for a moment of quiet contemplation, tended to feel much more satisfied with their lives. Yet only 6% of us regularly take advantage of our national art collections.

At the National Portrait Gallery we offer the perfect setting, along with a host of events, that encourage those much needed moments of contemplation, relaxation and escape.


Explore our events programme, from Portrait of the Day talks, lunchtime lectures through to drop in drawing sessions, we have a wide range of events that will ignite creativity and thought, whilst promoting a mindful experience.

Drop-in Drawing

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Life Drawing Classes

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Portrait of the Day

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Lunchtime Lectures

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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