The historian joins forces with the gallery's curators to create five temporary displays within its permanent collections.

The collection is usually presented chronologically, but Schama's chosen portraits have been redisplayed according to themes; Power, Love, Fame, People and Self. It means that, uniquely, works from across different periods are shown alongside one another for the very first time.

Sir Winston Churchill and Baroness Thatcher sit with Elizabeth I in Power, while Rossetti and Jane Morris are joined by John Lennon and Yoko One in Love. Francis Drake meets Amy Winehouse in Fame, and a self-portrait room combines traditional renderings by Sir Joshua Reynolds and William Hogarth with Marc Quinn's head sculpture made from his own blood.

The display coincides with Schama's new BBC series and book with the same name.

National Portrait Gallery

St Martin's Place, London, Greater London, WC2H 0HE

020 7306 0055


Opening times

Saturday - Thursday: 10am – 6pm
Friday: 10am – 9pm
Closed 24 – 26 Dec

Free to all

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