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Painting Portraits

06 November 2019


Year 3 have been studying portraiture in their Art lessons this term, with a focus on self-portraits. With this in mind, they visited the National Portrait Gallery in London in November to see for themselves some of the world’s most important paintings.

The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world, with over 210,000 works of art from the 16th Century to the present day. The boys were lucky to have a guided tour of some of the Victorian and 20th century galleries. Considering it was announced this week that the NPG will be closed for three years from next June, this was a timely visit for them.

Their guide, a practicing artist himself, was very interesting and the boys listened very carefully as they were taken around the different galleries. He discussed with the boys how they could tell if a portrait was a self-portrait of the artist or whether they were painting someone else. The boys also looked at portraits which had clues and items in them which told them about who the person was in the painting or photograph. Towards the end of their tour, they looked at more abstract self-portraits where they could see the differences in creative techniques throughout history. During their tour, the boys also had the opportunity to sketch their own drawings of their surroundings and the portraits they saw.

Back in the classroom, the boys will use what they have learnt throughout their trip and create their own self-portraits, which will be on display in the Art Room.


Year 3 at the National Portrait Gallery