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...
Painting, Drawing and illustration
Watercolour and gouache portrait paintings of the actress Ellen Terry, the artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler and the romantic novelist, Hall Caine.
- Rating: 2/5
The problem with portraiture is the people. You have to ask yourself if you care about any of the faces staring out at you at this annual portrait painting prize exhibition, and the answer almost overwhelmingly is ‘no’. Do I want to see James Martin from...
Studio portraits by the British photographer, from the 1950s to the 1990s, as well as his 1965 examination of the British art world, created in collaboration with the critic John Russell and the then director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Bryan Robertson....
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...
Drawing and illustration, Painting
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.
Photographs from the 1870s to the 1900s by Beatrix Potter's father, including portraits taken as references for the paintings of Sir John Everett Millais.
- Rating: 3/5
How much you enjoy this show depends on two things. 1) A pre-existing interest in and familiarity with the life and works of Virginia Woolf, and 2) a high tolerance for the posh, neurotic ‘intellectual aristocrats’ of the Bloomsbury group. It’s hard to...