National Portrait Gallery
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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. And if you’ve ever wanted to see a blurry painting of Ed Sheeran, and God knows we all have, the NPG is the place to be. But when you’re done wondering how someone could possibly get hold of that much ginger paint, enjoy the rest of the collection, it's all better than that one painting, promise.
St Martin's Place
|Transport:||Tube: Charing Cross|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu, Sat, Sun 10am-6pm; Fri 10am-9pm|
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