National Portrait Gallery

Untitled #122, from the Fashion series, by Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman – selfie queen

29 June 2019 9:00 am

The selfie is, of course, a major, and to me mysterious, phenomenon of our age. The sheer indefatigability of selfie-takers,…

The first great English artist – the life and art of Nicholas Hilliard

23 February 2019 9:00 am

When Henry VIII died in 1547, he left a religiously divided country to a young iconoclast who erased a large…

‘The Artist with his Wife Margaret and Eldest Daughter Mary’, c.1748, by Thomas Gainsborough

It’s hard to think of finer images of children than Gainsborough’s

12 January 2019 9:00 am

When he knew that he was dying, Thomas Gainsborough selected an unfinished painting from some years before and set it…

‘Majesty’, 2006, by Tacita Dean

Intelligent, poetic and profound: Tacita Dean at the National and National Portrait galleries

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Andy Warhol would probably have been surprised to learn that his 1964 film ‘Empire’ had given rise to an entire…

‘Self-Portrait’, 1880–1, by Paul Cézanne

The most impressive array of work to be seen in London in years: Cézanne’s Portraits reviewed

11 November 2017 9:00 am

The critic and painter Adrian Stokes once remarked on how fortunate Cézanne had been to be bald, ‘considering the wonderful…

Wooden model of a brewing and baking workshop, Egypt, c.2000 bc, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Ancient Egypt’s obsession with death was in fact a preoccupation with life

2 April 2016 9:00 am

The Fitzwilliam Museum is marking its bicentenary with an exhibition that takes its title from Agatha Christie: Death on the…

Naked ambition: Anthony Roth Costanzo in Philip Glass’s ‘Akhnaten’

In a world full of zombie new operas, thank god for Philip Glass’s Akhnaten

12 March 2016 9:00 am

A mixed year so far for new opera. A few really dismal things have appeared from people who should know…

Repetitive but compelling: Giacometti at the National Portrait Gallery reviewed

24 October 2015 9:00 am

One day in 1938 Alberto Giacometti saw a marvellous sight on his bedroom ceiling. It was ‘a thread like a…

Illusions of grandeur: Roy Strong as a Stuart king (Charles I, after Sir Anthony Van Dyck)

Camp carnival: Roy Strong’s 80th birthday pageant

1 August 2015 9:00 am

For his 75th birthday, Sir Roy Strong gave himself a personal trainer. For his 80th, he has commissioned a book…

(Photo: Liavittone)

The Portrait restaurant: a secret glade of stone and brick, suspended above Trafalgar Square

2 May 2015 9:00 am

The Portrait Restaurant lives at the top of the National Portrait Gallery, London. It is fiercely modern, but likeable. You…

‘Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington’, 1829, by Sir Thomas Lawrence

Wellington's PR machine

28 March 2015 9:00 am

The history of portraiture is festooned with images of sitters overwhelmed by dress, setting and the accoutrements of worldly success.…

‘Group with Parasols’, c.1904, by John Singer Sargent

Sargent, National Portrait Gallery, review: he was so good he should have been better

21 February 2015 9:00 am

The artist Malcolm Morley once fantasised about a magazine that would be devoted to the practice of painting just as…

James Delingpole falls in love with Grayson Perry - and almost comes round to Chris Huhne

1 November 2014 9:00 am

I love Grayson Perry. You might almost call him the anti-Russell Brand: a genuinely talented artist who also has some…

The Bloomsbury painters bore me

6 September 2014 9:00 am

Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) claimed that nothing has really happened until it has been recorded, so this new exhibition at the…

Marcus Wareing drops a name

19 April 2014 9:00 am

In the ‘Chefs’ Last Supper’ in the National Portrait Gallery, Marcus Wareing is throwing a brie at Gordon Ramsay, who…

The great and the good and the gassed and the dead

29 March 2014 9:00 am

Last week, three exhibitions celebrating the art of Germany; this week, a show commemorating the first world war fought against…

Save our Van Dyck!

30 November 2013 9:00 am

Why should a portrait of a Flemish painter by a Flemish painter be considered so important to Britain that the…

Laura Knight was an artist skilled in the ways of the world

7 September 2013 9:00 am

The popular conception of Dame Laura Knight is of an energetic woman piling on the paint in the back of…