"All the Women in the World" by Tracey Emin at the National Portrait Gallery

"All the Women in the World" by Tracey Emin at the National Portrait Gallery


An ancient but completely new museum reopens its doors in London: the National Portrait Gallery, founded in 1856, is once again open to the public after three years of closure for restoration and expansion works. The entrance that had been lateral and narrow since the gallery was inaugurated has been moved to the main facade of the building, a tribute to the Renaissance palaces of Florence.
Visitors are welcomed by the new bronze doors created by Tracey Emin, 45 panels with as many female portraits which for the English artist want to represent "all the women of the world", contrasting with the busts of 18 men, artists, writers and historians, which adorn the facade of the building. "Tracey Emin, great master of drawing and sculpture, has given a human touch to the imposing facade, creating a perfect work, monumental and moving at the same time", said Nicholas Cullinan, director of the Npg who wanted and followed the transformation of the museum.

Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin

Peter Annigoni

Inside, in the larger, airier and brighter spaces created by architect Jamie Fobert, is the collection of portraits. Over 220,000 sculptures, drawings, prints, miniatures, paintings and photographs tell British history and the history of art, ranging from the portrait of Henry VII of 1505 to contemporary works such as Self by Marc Quinn, a self-portrait "sculpted" by the artist with his blood. The works on display include paintings such as the "Chandos portrait" by William Shakespeare, attributed to John Taylor, and the famous portrait of Elizabeth II painted by Pietro Annigoni, the only artist so appreciated by the queen as to have been called upon to portray her twice. A large photo of the new king, Charles III, welcomes visitors as they enter the museum. In addition to expanding the exhibition spaces by opening them to natural light, eliminating partitions, mezzanines and partition walls added over time, the restoration has also allowed for a rethinking of the collection. The works on display are more in line with today's world: women, ethnic minorities, people of color and LGBTQ+ people are more represented.

Madame Yevonde

The first exhibition of the new era of the NPG is dedicated to Madame Yevonde, a photographer of the first decades of the twentieth century and intends to relaunch an artist unjustly less known than other male artists. Yevonde pioneered color photography, experimenting in her London studio and creating portraits and still lifes that still impress today with their sharpness of image and brilliance of colour.

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Find out more

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