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As a stalwart of the British art world, the National Portrait Gallery in trendy Covent Garden offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with iconic figures of today's and past times. It seeks to put faces to the names of British history's most famous and notorious.
There are over 10,000 regularly-rotated works housed within this building, which acts more like a museum than a gallery. These works are displayed in chronological order, and lead you on a journey through English history using people's faces as timescales.
The ground floor is where you could spend a lot of time, as it is the most contemporary of the exhibits. There is also a move away from the purely 'oil and canvas' type portraiture, with modern artists experimenting with new themes and ways of depicting identity. Plus, if you want to see larger than life pictures of gorgeous celebrities currently making waves, sportsmen and women, or politicians, this is the place to be.
In terms of older portraits, some of the periods covered include the Tudor, Georgian and Victorian eras.
Finally, in terms of temporary exhibitions which are a regular occurrence at the NPG, be sure to check out the Lucian Freud exhibition. Lasting until May 27th and featuring hundreds of Freud's works, this latest installment is as interesting as it is artistic.
Opening times: Daily: 10:00 - 18:00 (Thursday & Friday until 21:00)
St Martin's Place, Covent-Garden, WC2H 0HEView Larger Map
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