A must on any trip to London, the National Portrait Gallery houses an incredible collection of portraits. Every time I visit I find something new and intriguing amongst the thousands of paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs of subjects from Anne Boleyn to Rio Ferdinand. It is free to enter but I would definitely the café as the food is excellent and great value for the city centre.
National Portrait Gallery
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Fri Jul 27 2012
Portraits don't have to be stuffy. The National Portrait Gallery has everything from oil paintings of stiff-backed royals to photos of soccer stars and gloriously unflattering political caricatures. The portraits of musicians, scientists, artists, philanthropists and celebrities are arranged in chronological order from the top to the bottom of the building. At the top of the escalator up from the main foyer are the earliest works, portraits of Tudor and Stuart royals and notables. On the same floor, the eighteenth-century collection features Georgian writers and artists, with one room devoted to the influential Kit-Cat Club of Whig (leftish) intellectuals, Congreve and Dryden among them. More famous names here include Wren and Swift. The Duveen Extension contains Regency greats, military men such as Wellington and Nelson, as well as Byron, Wordsworth and other Romantics. The first floor is devoted to the Victorians (Dickens, Brunel, Darwin) and, in the Duveen Extension, the twentieth century. One of the NPG's most popular highlights is the annual BP Portrait Award where the best entrants for the prestigious prize are exhibited.
National Portrait Gallery St Martin's Place
What's on at National Portrait Gallery
Drawing and illustration, Painting
Works exploring the life and ideas of the great Victorian artist, writer and visionary thinker William Morris. Through portraits, personal items and fascinating objects, many of which will be on public display for the first time, this major exhibition...
The cross-dressing ceramist presents a show of 14 portraits. Coinciding with the screening of his Channel 4 ‘Who Are You?’ series, in which Perry turns his attention to portraiture and identity, this display brings together some of the individuals Perry...
Few artists got around as much as John Singer Sargent. The son of an American surgeon, he was born in Florence in 1856 and spent his childhood touring Europe, settling in Paris, then moving to London (after the furore over his sensational ‘Madame X’ portrait...
The British photographer gifted 130 of his prints to the National Portrait Gallery 2013. Here, a selection of his studio portraits from the 1950s to the 1990s that includes music legend David Bowie and acting royality Laurence Olivier will be displayed...
Photography, Things to do
This display includes photographs of Emmeline Pankhurst and Mary Richardson, notorious for attacking the 'Rokeby Venus' by Diego Velasquez at the National Gallery. It also includes original documents from the Gallery's archive, and surveillance photographs...
- Rating: 3/5
There’s no shortage of famous faces in this, the twelfth edition of the ‘Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize’. Lenny Henry is captured in shadowy vulnerability, Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina in a righteous glow. There’s also David Cameron. Yet,...
Painting, Drawing and illustration
This special display, focusing on the portraiture of the Tudor monarchs, will allow visitors to rediscover these well-known kings and queens through the most complete presentation of their images staged to date.