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In Simon Schama’s words, there is ‘no distinction between art and history’. The eminent historian and art historian explores this idea in a new BBC Two series this autumn, ‘The Face of Britain’ (first episode Wednesday September 30), in which he looks at the last half millennium of this country’s history through the prism of portraiture. To accompany it, five free displays, dotted throughout the National Portrait Gallery, take a closer look at the series’s themes: Self, Power, Fame, People and Love. There are impressive royal portraits, bravura calling-cards by fashionable painters of their day, along with more intimate, domestic works, as well as those which look at the more troubling implications of capturing a person’s identity. Check out these five key works from the show and our London art exhibitions calendar for more inspiration.