The Royal Society of Portrait Painters call for entries 2021

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The Royal Society of Portrait Painters call for entries 2021

Artists are welcome to enter one of the UK’s most prestigious exhibitions of portrait painting to show their work at The Mall Galleries and win £23,000 in prizes.


The Royal Society of Portrait Painters invites artists from all over the world to submit portraits for its Annual Exhibition, which will bring together over 200 portraits at The Mall Galleries and give away £23,000 in prizes.


Attracting many art lovers in central London, the show at The Mall Galleries is a unique professional opportunity for portrait artists, as it sees a great number of works being sold to collectors, and just as many commissions being placed with exhibiting artists. The exhibition is selected by a committee of elected members of the society - all leading and currently practising portrait painters - which makes being shortlisted a mark of distinction in itself.

Artists have a chance to win cash prizes totalling over £23,000, including the Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture of £10,000, and the RP Award of £2,000, which goes to the artist whose work best represents this year’s theme: childhood.

Artists from around the world can submit paintings, drawings and original prints before 15 January 2021, 12pm noon, via


Created in 1891, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters aims to encourage the appreciation, study and practice of portraiture. The Society is a well-respected institution with a long history of celebrating the tradition of portrait painting as well as an influential champion of contemporary art, seeking to develop new artistic models and perspectives. Today, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters brings together diverse artistic approaches that continue to make a significant contribution to British art, and encourages new artists to explore the art of portraiture and show their work alongside the Society’s members.


  • The Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture – £10,000 plus the Society’s Gold Medal awarded for the most distinguished portrait in the Society’s annual exhibition.
  • The RP Award – £2,000 for the artist whose work best represents the year’s chosen theme – childhood.
  • The RP Prize for the Best Small Portrait – £2,000 for the best small portrait in the exhibition, measuring not more than 38 x 30.5 cm (15 x 12 inches) framed.
  • The de Laszlo Foundation Award – £3,000 plus a Silver Medal for the most outstanding portrait by an artist aged 35 years or under.
  • The Prince of Wales’ Award for Portrait Drawing – £2,000 and framed certificate for a portrait in any drawing medium.
  • The Burke’s Peerage Foundation Award – £2,000 for a classically inspired portrait.
  • The Smallwood Architects Prize – £1,000 for a portrait in which architectural or interior features play an important part.

To enter, please visit:


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