National Portrait Gallery
Lonely Planet review for National Portrait Gallery
The fascinating National Portrait Gallery is like stepping into a picture book of English history. Founded in 1856, the permanent collection (around 11,000 works) starts with the Tudors on the 2nd floor and descends to contemporary figures (from pop stars to scientists), including Marc Quinn's Self, a frozen self-portrait of the artist's head cast in blood and recreated every five years. An audiovisual guide (£3) will lead you through the gallery's most famous pictures.