Friday, 24 October 2008

The National Portrait Gallery

Click the heading for more photos of paintings in the gallery

The National Portrait Gallery is often overlooked, but it shouldn't be. It's amazing for its enormous number of portraits of famous Englishmen and women. History (from the Tudors onwards) comes to life here and the illustrious families who were the backbone of the country for centuries - the Sidneys, the Howards, the Cecils and the like, are magnificently portrayed. Only about one-eigth of the portraits owned by the gallery are on show at any one time, but it is kept up to date with the recently famous (there's a Diana section as well as paintings of people like Ian Botham). The permanent exhibition is free of course and there's a good tea room on the top floor where one can have an unusual view over the roof of the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square

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