Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: National Portrait Gallery Publications (27 Jun 1997)
Product Dimensions: 26.8 x 21.6 x 2 cm
The National Portrait Gallery’s collection of portraits of British men and women constitutes a complete survey of both historical and contemporary personalities. A national pantheon of great figures – from King Henry VIII to David Bowie – portrayed by great artists – from Holbein to Avedon – the Gallery’s collection includes likenesses of political, artistic and scientific characters, including Mary, Queen of Scots, William Shakespeare, Lord Byron, James Joyce, Winston Churchill, Laurence Olivier, Barbara Hepworth and Salman Rushdie. The book includes a selection of the finest portraits in the Gallery, ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day. It forms a permanent record of the range and diversity of British life over the last 400 years, and provides a view of the faces that created Britain’s history and culture.
“If you go to the National Portrait Gallery, you must read Charles Saumarez Smith,
The National Portrait Gallery (NPG £25), in which its director selects more than 100 of its best portraits, and illuminates them with comments which are a model of wise,
witty (and occasionally waspish) concision.„
“It is a marvellous book: the portraits beautifully chosen and reproduced; the captions a perfect combination of history, information and irreverence; and the broader story of the gallery excellently and concisely told.„
David Cannadine, Financial Times
“I really admired the pithy nature of your commentary – not to say surprising candor and frankness – about the sitters. So many of those ‘masterpiece’ books are unblushingly bland that your book is a wonderfully refreshing antidote.”
Patrick McCaughey, Director, Yale Center for British Art
“I enormously enjoyed your entries. They are so witty, unexpected, and reckless to the point of abandon.
I couldn’t have enjoyed them more.„