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BP Portrait Award 2010

The Portrait Award, now in its thirty-first year at the National Portrait Gallery and twenty-first year of sponsorship by BP, is an annual event aimed at encouraging artists to focus upon and develop the theme of portraiture in their work.

The competition is open to everyone aged 18 and over, in recognition of the outstanding and innovative work currently being produced by artists of all ages working in portraiture.


Submit your portrait paintings. The Portrait Award is encouraging artists to focus upon and develop the theme of portraiture in their work.


  • 1st prize: A cash award of £25,000, plus, at the judges’ discretion, a commission worth £4,000, to be agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist.
  • 2nd prize: £8,000
  • 3rd prize: £6,000
  • BP Young Artist Award: £5,000
    Our commitment to the work of young artists continues with the inclusion of a special award for entrants aged between 18 and 30. All entrants from this age group will automatically be considered for both the BP Young Artist Award and the BP Portrait Award, but an individual cannot win both.
  • BP Travel Award 2010: £5,000
    All 2010 exhibitors will be eligible to submit a proposal for the BP Travel Award. The aim of the Award is to provide the opportunity for an artist to experience working in a different environment, in Britain or abroad, on a project related to portraiture which will then be shown as part of the BP Portrait Award 2011 exhibition and tour in 2011-12.


  • Entry forms and entry fees must be returned to the National Portrait Gallery by 14 February 2010.
  • The competition is open to all artists from around the world.
  • Artists must be aged 18 years of age or over on 1 January 2010.
  • Artists must be 30 years of age or under on 1 January 2010 to be eligible for the BP Young Artist Award.
  • The competition is limited to one entry per artist. The work must have been completed after 1 January 2009. No work previously submitted for the competition is eligible for resubmission.
  • On receipt of the application and entry fee, full details of the delivery address for the painting will be emailed or sent to the artist.
  • All entrants will be notified if their work is selected, or not, for exhibition by 7 April 2010. All correspondence with artists will be via email. Artists who have not been selected should make arrangements for the collection of their work. It is the artist’s responsibility to contact the National Portrait Gallery if s/he has not received notification by that date.

Complete official rules

How to enter?

Use the available online entry form.

Before completing this online entry form, please ensure:

  • you have read and understood the rules fully
  • you have noted all dates for handing-in and collection of paintings

Entry fee

The entry fee for this competition is £30.