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

There are many reasons to submit your work

Ania Hobson at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters' Private View 2018

Ania Hobson at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ Private View 2018

    • Being selected is a mark of distinction, unlike other shows, this one is selected by leading portrait painters
    • The Mall Galleries’ exhibition is a prestigious showcase in Central London
    • Substantial prizes and awards
    • Works sell
    • and many commissions are placed
The Society welcomes paintings, drawings and original prints.  (More information for artists below).
This year Royal Society of Portrait Painters sought submissions of new and traditional artistic models and perspectives in portraiture

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

The work has now been selected for the 2020 Exhibition and is showing at Mall Galleries 16-26 September and the exhibition is already open online for you to browse and buy. T


2020 Prizes & Awards 

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


There are many prizes and awards 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

2020 Eligibility

  • 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: https://www.gov.uk
  • 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: info@picturepostcompany.co.uk

Terms & Conditions

  • For full terms and conditions, click here.
  • 2021 terms and conditions to be advised


2021 Submission

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