Home » Exhibitions » Exhibition Review: BP Portrait Award 2019 at the National Portrait Gallery from 13 June to 20 October 2019

Exhibition Review: BP Portrait Award 2019 at the National Portrait Gallery from 13 June to 20 October 2019

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The BP Portrait Award, now in its 40th year at the National Portrait Gallery and 30th year of sponsorship by BP, is a highly successful annual art event aimed at encouraging artists to tackle the theme of painted portraiture within their work. The BP Portrait Award, one of the world’s most prestigious art competitions, has a first prize of £35,000, making it one of the largest for any global arts competition.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The BP Portrait Award is popular with artists with 2,538 entrants  from 84 countries, it is also popular with the public, last year the BP Portrait Award exhibition received over 300,000 visitors.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The entries were narrowed down to the final 44 works selected for the BP Portrait Award 2019 exhibition, the winners were selected from the portraits chosen for the exhibition.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The prestigious first prize was won by Brighton based artist, Charlie Schaffer for Imara in her Winter Coat, a portrait of his close friend. The artist’s prize is £35,000 and a commission, at the National Portrait Gallery Trustees’ discretion, worth £7,000 (agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist).

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The second prize of £12,000 went to Norwegian painter, Carl-Martin Sandvold, for The Crown, a self-portrait in existential thought.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The third prize of £10,000 went to Italian artist, Massimiliano Pironti, for Quo Vadis?, a portrait of his maternal grandmother, Vincenza, a former miller and factory worker now aged ninety-five.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The BP Young Artist Award of £9,000 for the work of a selected entrant aged between 18 and 30 has been won by 30 year-old Brighton based artist Emma Hopkins for Sophie and Carla, a portrait that depicts the photographer Sophie Mayanne and her pet dog.

The winner of the BP Travel Award 2018, Robert Seidel’s portraits from along the Danube is displayed alongside the BP Portrait Award 2019 exhibition.

Frank Bowling – Tedi Lena © 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Part of the attraction of this free exhibition is to enjoy the wide variety of portraiture which features some famous and not so famous faces. The standard is consistently high and it is fun when you wander around the exhibition to pick out your own particular favourites and decide whether you agree with the judge’s choices.

Self Portrait by Sheng Chieh Chou- © 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The BP Portrait Award 2019 exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 13 June to 20th October 2019. Admission is free.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the National Portrait Gallery website here

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