A Picture-Perfect Palette for the National Portrait Gallery

Written on 22nd June 2023

Painted in Green Smoke No.47 Photo © David Parry 


Cue the confetti because, after three years of renovations, the National Portrait Gallery is open again. And that’s not all. We’re delighted that seven of our signature shades are joining the celebrated art on the walls. Watch the video below to join our Colour Curator Joa Studholme – who helped pick the palette - on a tour of the freshly painted space.  

Specifically, we’re proud to be supporting the Inspiring People project. This project is a full re-presentation of the Gallery’s famous Collection — a truly showstopping selection of iconic portraits — and a makeover of the Gallery’s new public spaces, including the shop, restaurant, café, and bar, all adorned in our deeper, richer colours. 

Working alongside art curators from the Gallery and Jamie Fobert Architects, Joa helped create a colour scheme that perfectly complements the masterpieces on display. From warm grey Dove Tale to understated Ammonite, many of the shades are deliberately neutral, drawing the eye towards the art and allowing it to take centre stage. However, the bolder tones of Brinjal and Green Smoke have also been used, both of which were chosen to replicate the colours of a particularly powerful portrait and heighten its impact. 

When we asked her about her experience, Joa said: “As a huge admirer of the arts, it's such a privilege to be involved in this restoration project. Seeing our paint used to transform these famously white walls into an extraordinary backdrop for such incredible works of art is beyond exciting.” 

All Photos © David Parry 

In a few weeks, we’ll be catching up with Joa again to find out more about the project and some of her favourite spaces. So keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment. In the meantime, browse the full palette below: 

Dove Tale


Charleston Gray


Green Smoke




Cornforth White




Light Gray


Feeling inspired?

If you want to celebrate your own collection of art — be it bold prints, soft landscapes or cherished family photos — ask one of our Colour Consultants for advice. They’ll help you find the perfect colour scheme to bring your art to life. You could even ask Joa herself.

Book A Colour Consultancy

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