Must-See Masterpieces of the National Portrait Gallery, London

Discover the history behind the artworks of London's National Portrait Gallery
Preview Lecture
Watch on your schedule, you will receive a link to watch the lecture online immedately upon purchase.
1 hour and 15 minutes
Product Type
National Portrait Gallery
Lecture Details
Photos & Highlights
  • Presented by the same world-class experts as our walking tours, Context Lectures highlight must-see attractions, reveal hidden landmarks, and explore the best things to do during your trip so you don’t miss a thing.
Lecture Description
The National Portrait Gallery was formed in 1856 with the intention to collect and display "the most eminent persons in British history." The first portrait acquired was the "Chandos Portrait" of William Shakespeare and, over the successive years, it was joined by more portraits of "eminent persons," ranging from Anne Boleyn to J.K. Rowling. As well as painted portraits, the collection includes drawings, prints, sculptures, photographs, and modern media.
Meet Your Expert

Hattie has a degree in History of Art and an MA in Historic Interiors, she has a life-long passion and fascination in Fine and Decorative Arts, particularly works produced in Europe from the 16th to 18th century. After working for the Royal Collection in the Print Room at Windsor Castle, she was a curator for a private collector of 17th and 18th century prints and drawings. This sparked a keen interest in portraiture and English art, as well as the printed image. Hattie has worked for London's foremost framer of important old master paintings during which time she sharpened her appreciation and understanding of the decorative arts and the changing tastes of collecting. Recently she has been dealing in prints and works of art as well as taking groups of all ages to museums and galleries.

The British tradition of portraiture is well served with examples by Holbein, Van Dyck, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Millais, Singer Sargent, and Hockney, whilst some of the most well-loved portraits are by unknown artists such as Branwell Bronte's portraits of his sisters and Cassandra Austen's delicate drawing of her sister Jane. After closing for three years for a major refurbishment, the National Portrait Gallery now provides a wonderful visual experience of British History and contemporary life.

Led by an expert in Art History, Hattie Bennett, this lecture will discuss the highlights of the collection. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of British Portraiture and the National Portrait Gallery.
How do I access the lecture?
Once you complete your purchase, you will receive an email with a link to stream the lecture on the Context Travel website. You can also access your past purchases anytime under My Orders. Please ensure you are logged into your account to open the streaming page. 

Is closed captioning (i.e. subtitles) available?
Yes! All of our lectures have the option to turn on closed captioning should you have difficulty hearing the expert.

How long does each event last?
Our recorded lectures typically run for 60 minutes.

How can I share this lecture with friends or family?
You are welcome to watch together with friends or family but each person viewing on their own device will need to purchase the lecture individually.

How long does my access to the lecture last?
Once you purchase a lecture, you are welcome to view it as many times as you like and your access does not expire.

What is your cancellation and refund policy?
Sales for recorded lectures are final upon purchase. Please contact us at if you have any questions or concerns about your purchase.

Can I purchase a gift card for a friend who is traveling?
Absolutely! Gift cards can be purchased here. Gift cards are good for 365 days from the date of purchase.
(5.0) 7 Reviews

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Hattie is great and enthusiastic and knowledgeable!!
Wonderfully done! What a museum! Would have liked if you’d said ‘on your right is’ ‘on your left is’ when 2 paintings on screen (eg Wellington and other guy who looked quite like him.)
As always, engaging and so knowable about her subject.