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BP Portrait Award 2011

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

Offering huge prizes, the BP Portrait Award is open for portrait painting from young artists worldwide. The competition is limited to one entry per artist.

The BP Portrait Award 2011 exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery from 16 June to 18 September 2011.


The work entered should be a painting based on a sitting or study from life and the human figure must predominate.

The work entered must be predominantly painted in oil, tempera or acrylic and must be on a stretcher or board, preferably framed and unglazed. No watercolours, works on paper or pastels will be considered.

  • Minimum size: 25 x 20cm (10” x 8”) unframed.
    Any works smaller than this will not be considered.


  • First 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.
  • Second Prize: £8,000
  • Third Prize: £6,000
  • BP Travel Award 2011: £5,000
    All 2011 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 show as part of the BP Portrait Award 2012 exhibition and tour in 2012-13.
  • BP Young Artist Award: £5,000
    All entrants aged between 18 and 30 will automatically be considered for both the BP Young Artist Award and the BP Portrait Award, but an individual cannot win both.


  • The competition is open to all artists from around the world.
  • Artists must be aged 18 years of age or over on 1 January 2011.
  • Artists must be 30 years of age or under on 1 January 2011 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 2010.
  • No work previously submitted for the competition is eligible for resubmission.

How to enter?

The best way to register your entry for the BP Portrait Award 2011 is online.

However, it is also possible to register by mailing your entry form on the following address.

BP Portrait Award
National Portrait Gallery
St Martin’s Place
London WC2H 0HE

On receipt of the application and entry fee, full details of the delivery address for the painting will be emailed or sent to you.

For further information please contact: bpaward [at] (please replace [at] with @).

Entry fee

The entry fee for this competition is £32.