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From Shakespeare to Ed Sheeran, portraits of British icons on exhibit at national museum

This image, provided by the National Portrait Gallery, London, shows British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. (National Portrait Gallery)
This image, provided by the National Portrait Gallery, London, shows British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. (National Portrait Gallery)
A new exhibition at the National Museum of Korea has brought together 76 portraits of British and global figures, ranging from playwright William Shakespeare to singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.

"Icons and Identities from the National Portrait Gallery, London," which has kicked off at the national museum in central Seoul, is the first exhibition here that presents pieces from the British museum, the national museum said.

The exhibition is divided into five sections with the themes "Fame," "Power," "Love and Loss," "Innovation" and "Identity and Self-portrait," and features an array of portraits in different styles and from various eras -- ranging from a 16th-century painting on wooden panels to holographic works from the 21st century.

The 76 people whose portraits were drawn also vary from literary legends William Shakespeare and Emily Bronte, scientists Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton, and more contemporary figures like The Beatles and David Beckham.

A total of 73 painters worked on the portraits, including celebrated painters like Peter Paul Rubens, Auguste Rodin, Andy Warhol and David Hockney, the museum added.

"It is the first time that many of these works have left the United Kingdom and the first time that our exceptional collection will travel to Korea, giving audiences there an unprecedented opportunity to encounter some of the most accomplished portraits produced in the last five hundred years," said Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery, London.

The exhibition runs through Aug. 15. (Yonhap)

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