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The National Portrait Gallery

Home > London > Art | Galleries
by Mike Whyte (subscribe)
Published November 1st 2011

The National Portrait Gallery is one of those places you simply must visit, whether you are a visitor or a native. It was established way back in 1856 to exhibit the portraits of famous and prominent men and women of the day - which has pretty much remained the brief even up to the modern day.

As well as the permanent collection, housing portraits from the Tudor times all the way through to contemporary, there are also temporary collections located throughout the 3 main floors to cast a fascinated eye on. Some suggestions for those lacking in time: cast your eye over room 39, with portraits of Mick Jagger and David Beckham, the boys from the popular Brit-pop band Blur in room 40, and for those in search of something a little more regal, the royal brothers Princes William and Harry, can be found in Room 36. Don't expect lines and lines of oil paintings either, as there are many media forms to notice here, some of them surprising...

Once your done with the artwork - head to the top floor, where you can find The Portrait Cafe, for a quick bite and a coffee, or for something more substantial, The Portrait Restaurant, with stunning views over the London skyline.

So, with more than 160,000 portraits available to choose from, numerous trips will be needed to really benefit from this entertaining, yet historically important collection - lucky that most of it's free then...

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Why? Where else could you see Prince William, David Beckham and Mick Jagger under one roof?
When: Daily 10am - 6pm (with a late shift until 9pm Thursday and Friday)
Where: St Martin's Place London WC2H 0HE
Cost: Free (though there is a fee for some temporary exhibitions)
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