Daphne Todd has the unusual distinction of having been awarded First Prize at the 2010 BP Portrait Awards, reputedly the most important portrait prize in the world. Back in 1983, she won Second Prize (when it was called the John Player Award) at the Portrait Awards. In the interim, she was elected the first female President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (1994-2000) and was awarded an OBE for services to the Arts in 2002.

She is perhaps best known for her portraits and currently has four in the permanent collection of the NPG, (Sir Christopher Ondaatje, Spike Milligan, Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover, and Dame Janet Baker) and a portrait drawing in the collection of HM the Queen, but, having studied at the Slade School of Fine Art as an undergraduate and postgraduate, she considers herself simply an analytical painter of the seen world. Her landscapes, still lifes, and figure studies are exhibited at Messums Gallery in Cork St, where she has had four solo shows since 2002. She is a Trustee of the Heatherley School of Art in Chelsea and an Ambassador for East Sussex, where she lives on a small farm.

Although her studio is a large converted barn, she very often travels to her sitters and enjoys exposure to new terrain. A book about her life – Paint and Principle, by Jenny Pery – was published in 2008 and is available from the Mall Galleries’ book shop.



12 x 10 inches £5,000
24 x 20 inches £9,000
30 x 25 inches £12,000
36 x 28 inches £16,500
40 x 30 inches £18,000
50 x 40 inches £21,000
60 x 40 inches from £24,500

20 x 16 inches From £2,500

This is a rough fee-guide for a single portrait. Frame, travel & accommodation expenses, and VAT are not included. For groups and non-standard sizes please ask for a quote.


I definitely do not work from photographs and need a minimum of five sittings of three hours. I am happy to travel to my sitters and to paint groups. Recent works have often been shaped and mounted on panels at different levels. I enjoy being given a free hand to develop the work according to how the subject presents itself, when circumstances allow. My drawings are in chalk or charcoal but not in pencil and of a size chosen by you. I am currently not VAT registered.


  • HRH the Prince of Wales
  • Lord Grocott
  • HRH the Grand Duke of Luxembourg KG
  • The opera singer Dame Janet Baker, DBE
  • The Very Reverend John Eastaugh
  • Lord Bishop of Hereford
  • The former “Goon” Spike Milligan, CBE
  • Dame Anne Mueller, DCB
  • The Lord Pennock
  • Baron Klingspor
  • Lord Adrian, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University
  • Former chairman of British Aerospace
  • Sir Austin Pearce
  • One of the early developers of penicillin
  • Sir Edward Abraham
  • Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover
  • Lord Sharman
  • Dame Marilyn Strathern
  • Mistress of Girton
  • Lord Ashbourton
  • Sir Christopher Ondaatje
  • Lord Deedes
  • David Lister, Arts Editor of the Independent
  • Lord and Lady Tebbit
  • Lord Armstrong of Ilminster
  • Sir Tom Stoppard


Solo Shows:

  • 1989 Morley Gallery ( retrospective)
  • 2001 Messum’s Gallery, Cork Street.
  • 2004 Messum’s Gallery
  • 2008 Messum’s Gallery
  • 2009 Messum’s Gallery

Mixed Open Exhibitions:

  • Royal Society of Portrait Painters
  • The New English Art Club
  • The Mall Galleries
  • The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (work purchased ”for the Nation” through the Chantrey bequest, 1972)
  • The BP Award; and invited works for the Slade Centenary
  • The Presidents’ Exhibition
  • The Discerning Eye


As a Student:

  • Griffin Prize
  • Tonks Drawing Prize
  • John Murray Landscape prize( intercollegiate)
  • British Institute Award for figurative painting (intercollegiate).

As a Professional:

  • 1983 Second Prize, John Player Portrait Award
  • 1984 FIRST PRIZE, Hunting Group National Art Award
  • 1984 Special Commendation, John Player Portrait Award
  • 1985 GLC Prize, Spirit of London (Royal Festival Hall)
  • 2001 FIRST PRIZE and GOLD MEDAL, Ondaatje Award for Portraiture
  • 2010 FIRST PRIZE, BP Portrait Award
  • 2017 Changing Faces Prize


  • Freedom of the City of London, 1997
  • Hon. Doctorate of Arts, De Montfort University, 1998
  • Hon. Liveryman, Worshipful Co. of Painter-Stainers, 2004
  • O.B.E. for Services to the Arts, 2002
  • Hon. Doctorate of Arts, Kent University, 2014
  • Hon. Fellowship, Girton College, Cambridge, 2017

Commission a portrait by Daphne Todd OBE PPRP NEAC