The Royal Institute of British Architects’s (RIBA) collection of paintings consists largely of portraits of architects or writers on architecture, from the early seventeenth to the late twentieth centuries. It is the richest collection of such portraits outside the National Portrait Gallery. There are also paintings of places, principally classical antiquities, which have influenced generations of architects. The art collection began soon after the RIBA was founded in 1834 to provide visual records of architects, alongside collections of their drawings and manuscripts. The mainstays of the collection are the portraits of successive presidents, many of whom were in their day leaders of the profession. However, there are many other architects who held no official position in the Institute but whose eminence was recognised by their portraits being given or commissioned. There are several seventeenth and eighteeth-century portraits as well. Painters represented include George Richmond, John Singer Sargent, Sir William Orpen and Patrick Heron.