The National Portrait Gallery

While my primary goal of the weekend was to visit the National Gallery, Carrie (a new BSP friend) and I decided to visit the National Portrait Gallery as well, since it was adjoint to the National Gallery and it was free.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but it didn’t disappoint.

The gallery starts out with a display of all the royal portraits and takes you through a visual tour of British history.

Queen Elizabeth I!

The gallery took you through all the portraits of the British monarchy, which I was vaguely familiar with. It’s so crazy seeing these paintings in person because they’re so old. Some are older than America (a common theme in London).

William Shakespeare

There were also portraits of prominent figures and staples to British culture.

Speaking of, here’s a portrait of Ed Sheehan, which I absolutely did not expect to see.

It’s a bit surreal to see modern people in the gallery, mixed in with the 1000 year-old paintings.

Cate Blanchett!

I didn’t expect to have a good time here because I don’t much like portraits, but it does provide you with a nice history lesson.

I think that if you’re into realism and/or British history, you should visit the National Portrait Gallery.

I also like that it’s free to go here, because when British schoolchildren are learning about history, they can pop on over here to see the portraits of the people they’re studying in person.

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