National Portrait Gallery (London) National Portrait Gallery (London)

National Portrait Gallery (London)

The National Portrait Gallery in London, home to the world's most extensive collection of portraits, is committed to promoting "the appreciation and understanding of portraiture in all media."

Highlighting the People of British History through Portraiture

National Portrait Gallery (London)

London's National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1856 with dual missions: to promote an appreciation for both portraiture and the influential British individuals depicted in the collection's art. Each year, nearly 2 million visitors travel from near and far to admire portraits of key figures spanning British culture and history, such as William Shakespeare, The Beatles, Queen Elizabeth II, and J.K. Rowling. The National Gallery's collection of more than 11,000 portraits is vast, ranging from a piece barely larger than a thumbnail to one more than 17 feet wide. Further, it spans media, including paintings, sculptures, miniatures, and light-sensitive drawings. In addition to its renowned collection, the Gallery engages in extensive research, educational programming, and community outreach. As written by the Gallery's Director, Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, this breadth of work surrounding the art of historical portraiture allows the institution to "address questions of biography, diversity, and fame which lie at the heart of issues of identity and achievement."

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