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We are feeling very festive in the Gallery with the arrival of our beautiful Christmas tree, courtesy of Hayford & Rhodes. The copper and gold decoration was inspired by 'Portrait of Olga Picasso, by Pablo Picasso, 1923' on display in our #PicassoPortraits exhibition.
The National Portrait Gallery was formally established 160 years ago today. Our first birthday present - and the first portrait to enter our Collection - was the 'Chandos' portrait of William Shakespeare, donated by founder Trustee Lord Ellesmere in 1856.

Find out more about the Gallery's history here: [ Ow.ly Link ]

Happy Birthday to Us!

Give the gift of Gallery Membership this Christmas. Members enjoy free and unlimited entry to all our exhibitions, as well as invitations to Members' Private Views and discounts in Gallery Shops, Cafe and Restaurant.

Buy Gift Membership now: [ Ow.ly Link ]

National Portrait Gallery

"The word portrait is a very open term; it allows for experimentation, discovery, and the fact that almost anything can be a portrait, whether it is of a human face or a bouquet of flowers."

In the new issue of Aperture magazine, our Director Nicholas Cullinan speaks to artist Gillian Wearing about mask-making, Claude Cahun and her 2017 exhibition at the Gallery.

Read the full interview...
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Happy St Andrew's Day! Did you know that some of the earliest photographic portraits were produced by two Scots, David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson? We hold over 250 prints of their work in our Collection: [ Ow.ly Link ]
In September, four members of the Gallery's Youth Forum visited Barcelona to make two short films about Picasso, discovering the places he knew well and the artworks he created in his youth.

Watch the films here: [ Ow.ly Link ]
Most of Picasso’s self-portraits belongs to his early career. In our new exhibition film, curator Elizabeth Cowling looks at two of these early works and what they reveal about Picasso's approach to the genre.

Picasso's Early Self-portraits

"“We that are young,” says the Duke of Albany at the end of King Lear, “shall never see so much, nor live so long.” But sometimes this sense that history is what happened to our predecessors disappears, and we are aware that we are in the living current of history, that vast developments are taking place, utterly changing our very sense of who we are. Such has been the transformation in...
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Simon Callow: my life, lived gaily

The favourite mistress of Charles II during the 1660s, Barbara Villiers (born on this day) was a dominant presence both at court and in the public's imagination. In this audacious portrait, Peter Lely depicts her and her bastard son Charles as the Madonna and Child. [ Ow.ly Link ]
Our new display Speak Its Name! celebrates the advances in gay rights in Britain over the past half century, featuring portraits of and quotations by some of the country’s most prominent LGBT figures. Find out more: [ Ow.ly Link ]

National Portrait Gallery

With over 200,000 portraits in our Collection, not all of them can be displayed at once. Apollo Magazine takes a tour of the treasures in our Gallery store.

What’s in store at the National Portrait Gallery? - Apollo Magazine

Seventeen of YouTube's finest creators come face to face with some of history's most influential cultural figures in our eighteenth century galleries. Explore in 360.
Call for Entries is now open for the BP Portrait Award 2017. Find out more about the world’s most prestigious portrait painting competition and enter here:

National Portrait Gallery

Josh Redman won this year's John Kobal New Work Award for his portrait Frances. The Award is given to a photographer under thirty-five; they receive a cash prize of £5,000, which includes a commission to photograph a sitter connected with the UK film industry for the Gallery's Collection.

See Redman's portrait as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016: [ Ow.ly Link...
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Say cheese! Here's the first ever Gallery staff photo, taken in 1885 before we relocated from South Kensington.

See more treasures from the Gallery's Archive over on Twitter, part of Explore Your Archive: [ Ow.ly Link ]
The future King Charles I was born in Dunfermline on this day in 1600. [ Ow.ly Link ]
Support our Wellington appeal and help us acquire Thomas Lawrence's final portrait of the Iron Duke. Find out more about the campaign: [ Ow.ly Link ]

The National Portrait Gallery has never had a proper Wellington. Now it has the chance | Coffee House

"One of the most prestigious photography awards in the world" (The Guardian)

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016 is now open. Discover the very best in contemporary portrait photography from around the world:

National Portrait Gallery

Congratulations to all the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016 winners, here they are in front of their portraits at last nights award ceremony. See the prize winners and all selected photographic portraits in the exhibition, opening tomorrow, Thursday 17 November 2016. [ Npg.org.uk Link ]
Curator Sabina Jaskot-Gill introduces the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016 and speaks to this year's prize-winning photographers.