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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Scientific techniques

Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.

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Subjects and themes

Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!

Discover the Collection

Black History Month

Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.

Take the tour

A Picture of Health

Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.

Explore the timeline