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
The man responsible for capturing the swinging 60s and creating some of the most iconic fashion images of the past fifty years selects over 250 portraits from famous sitters to unknowns. Organised thematically, the show will take you on a journey through...
Photographs providing an insight into the life of the celebrated 20th-century British composer.
Drawing and illustration, Painting, Pop art
Contemporary works by the Pop-artist, focusing on his return to the medium of paint, and featuring drawings produced during the artist's tenure as a professor at the University of Houston in Texas.
Jazz and experimental, Folk, Psych and garage rock
Fine young jazz singer-songwriter performs her quirky originals fusing Spanish and Brazilian classical guitar styles to create her own unusual jazz-pop gems.
Things to do
An interesting take on the ubiquitous selfie: this NPG Late takes a look at the narcissist's favourite photo in the context of our much longer-lived obsession with portraiture. There will be live music, discussions, an opportunity to draw on film and...
- Rating: 4/5
Wars are remembered in numbers. Soldiers and civilians become figures and statistics. One hundred years after the Great War, it’s easy to lose sight of the reasons for conflict, to forget what started it all and how we justified sacrificing so many lives. The...
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.
Things to do
Award-winning Blue Badge guide Rachel Kolsky has devised a tour of the National Portrait Gallery for International Women's Month. She will take you to some of her favourite pictures – including those of Mrs Thrale, Dame Kelly Holmes, Odette, Ellen Terry...