The unprecedented cultural exchange between the National Portrait Gallery, London and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow is taking place to mark the 160 anniversary of the foundation of both galleries. The project is part of our ongoing programme of national and international loans which enable us to share our Collection with as wide a range of people as possible.

2016 has also been declared the joint UK-Russia Year of Language and Literature. Find out more at

Visitors in London can see Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky (17 March - 26 June 2016). The exhibition includes celebrated portraits of key figures from a golden age of the arts in Russia and is the most important exhibition of Russian portraits ever to take place at a British museum.

In Moscow, the State Tretyakov Gallery will host Elizabeth to Victoria: British Portraits from the Collection of the National Portrait Gallery (21 April - 24 July 2016). Among the loans from the Gallery to this exhibition are portraits of Dickens, Newton, Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth I, Cromwell, Darwin and the Chandos portrait of Shakespeare.

The exchange will also enable the Gallery to display further works from the Collection. Some of the paintings which are being loaned to Moscow will be replaced by other portraits of those sitters and a series of ‘Contemporary Conversations’ interventions will show modern portraits alongside their historical counterparts.

If you are interested in seeing a particular portrait at the Gallery we recommend that you visit our Collection pages which detail the whereabouts of works on display.