Visitors Royal Society of Portrait Painters' 2018 Private View

Visitors Royal Society of Portrait Painters’  Private View

Call for Entries

We invite artists from all over the world to submit portraits for our annual exhibition.


  • Being selected is a mark of distinction, unlike other shows, this one is selected by leading portrait painters
  • Mall Galleries exhibition is a prestigious showcase in Central London
  • Substantial prizes and awards, over £23,000 in value,  are distributed through this show
  • Works sell
  • and many commissions are placed
The Royal Society of Portrait Painters seeks submissions of new and traditional artistic models and perspectives in portraiture

Artists over 18, from the UK and beyond, are invited to submit works for exhibition alongside members of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters at their Annual Exhibition 2020.

The Society welcomes paintings, drawings and original prints.

Prizes & Awards (subject to final confirmation)

The Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture: The Society’s Gold Medal and £10,000


There are many prizes and awards available to win, including:

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 will be awarded to the artist whose work best represents the year’s chosen theme – which for 2020 is ‘Movement’. The judges will be looking for the most interesting and engaging interpretation of the idea of ‘Movement’ within the parameters of portraiture.

NEW The RP Prize for the Best Small Portrait: A prize of £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’s Award for Portrait Drawing: £2,000 and framed certificate for a portrait in any recognised drawing medium

The Burke’s Peerage Foundation Award: The Burke’s Peerage Foundation Award, established by its co-founders Mark Ayre and William Bortrick in 2015, is presented for Classically Inspired Portraiture in the RP Annual Exhibition. It is presented each year with a certificate and a cheque for £2,000.

The Smallwood Architects Prize: £1,000 for a portrait in which architectural or interior features play an important part


  • Any artist over 18 may submit.
  • Acceptable media: Any medium including original prints but excluding sculpture and photography.
  • Submission fee: £18 per work (or £12 per work for artists aged 35 or under), which includes Free Admission to the exhibition (normally £4).
  • Work must have been completed in the last three years and not been exhibited in London previously.
  • Minimum sale price: £300 (Although works may be ‘NFS’, not for sale – if your work is not for sale, please input the price as ‘0’ when prompted).
  • The price of works for sale must include 45%+VAT commission.
  • Maximum of three works submitted.
  • Maximum of three works selected.
  • Works should not be larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension.

Delivery & Collection

  • Packaging from delivered works cannot be retained and must be taken away at the point of delivery.
  • We are unable to wrap works or provide wrapping materials for any works being returned.
  • Paintings should be completely dry at the time of delivery.
  • Any work uncollected on the specified collection date/s will be stored at a separate location and the artist will be charged a storage fee.


  • The Selection Committee is formed of artist members of the Society and rotates annually.
  • Please note that selectors’ decisions are final and we are unable to offer feedback.

International Entrants

  • Artists from outside the UK may need to register for VAT, please check with HM Revenue and Customs:
  • Artists sending work from abroad should use a picture carrier. Many artists use Picture Post Art as they offer a packing and delivery service for our exhibitions (we do not accept any liability for their services). Picture Post Art – Tel: 0044 (0)1302 711011 / Mobile: 07833 450788 /  Email:

Terms & Conditions

Important Dates

Submissions open: Monday 4 November 2019, 12 noon

Submissions close: Friday 17 January 2020, 12 noon

Pre-selection notification: Friday 24 January, 12 noon

Receiving Day (if pre-selected only): Saturday 22 February, 10am to 5pm

Acceptance notification: Tuesday 25 February, 12 noon

Collection of unaccepted work: Thursday 27 February, 10am to 5pm*

Exhibition open: Thursday 7 May, 10am to 5pm (7pm on Tuesdays)

Exhibition closes: Friday 22 May, 5pm

Collection of unsold work: Thursday 28 May, 10am to 5pm*

*Due to a shortage of storage space at the gallery, any work uncollected by 5pm will be removed and stored at a separate location for which artists will be charged a storage fee.

How to Submit

ALL work must be submitted online. Pre-selection from online entries will take place, after which pre-selected entries should be delivered to Mall Galleries, London, for final selection:

– Upload images of work at between Monday 4 November 2019 and Friday 17 January 2020, 12 noon [Note: Images must be in JPEG format and under 5MB]

– Check on Friday 24 January, from 12 noon, to see if your work has been pre-selected

– If pre-selected, deliver your work on Saturday 22 February, 10am to 5pm, to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD

– Check this page ( on Tuesday 25 February, from 12 noon, to see if your work has been accepted to the exhibition

– If unaccepted, collect your work from Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD on Thursday 27 February, 10am to 5pm

Submit your work now
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