Exploring the National Portrait Gallery

Pity the poor gift recipient.  We all know that deciding what to buy your loved one can be tough, but do you really want to give a farm’s worth of livestock and a party load of people?

That’s just what the present giver did in The 12 Days of Christmas. 

This traditional English Christmas carol, first published in England in 1780, tells the story of a series of gifts from “my true love”. There have been a number of different versions of the lyrics over the centuries but all feature an ever growing list of animals birds and people.

The 12 Days of Christmas Treasure Hunt

Instead of giving gifts, a group of treasure hunters searched for answers to clues about them. Exploring the National Portrait Gallery, their quest took them from Tudor paintings to 21st century art.

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