Royal Society of Portrait Painters

The aim of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters is to promote the practice and appreciation of portraiture

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The RP Annual Exhibition is more than ever a welcoming space for both established and emerging talent. You will see fresh and sometimes surprising work by painters you know well, and you’ll see portraits by artists who are new to you.

Anthony Connolly - President

The Society of Portrait Painters was founded in 1891. Twenty years later it became the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, with its early membership including John Everett Millais, George Frederick Watts and James McNeil Whistler.

Within its present membership, the Society contains a broad collection of stylistic and intellectual approaches that continue to make a significant contribution to the ongoing tradition of portraiture in Britain today.

The Society vigorously looks to uphold the values and practices of its long and distinguished history. At the same time, it seeks to explore and develop new artistic models and perspectives in this endlessly fascinating and relevant discipline.

Video: Commissioning a Portrait

Call for Entries

Artists are invited to submit work for exhibition alongside members of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters at the RP Annual Exhibition.

Several prizes and awards are available to win.

Prizes & Awards

The William Lock Portrait Prize


2024: Mark Shields, Companion

2023: Saied Dai RP NEAC, Charlotte

2022: Tania Rivilis, Kupka's Dog

2021: Frances Bell RP, Self Portrait

The Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture


2024: Andrew James NEAC RP, Reverie

2023: Toby Wiggins RP, Winter's Work; Russell Woodham at rest while laying a hazel hedge in the Dorset Style

2022: Lantian, Man and a Window

2021: Saied Dai RP NEAC, Portrait of the Artist's Wife

2020: Shuang Liu, Woman in a Stadtische Galerie

2019: Peter Kuhfeld RP NEAC, The Executive Chef

2018: James Hague, Mette

2017: Shawn McGovern, James

2016: Lantian D, A Portrait of Roger Scruton

2015: Brian Morris, Upp at Bäcken (Up the Creek)

2014: Jennifer McRae, Conversations with Duncan

2013: Mark Roscoe, Changing Faces Commission: Olivia Roberts

The de Laszlo Foundation Award


2024: Stefano Curti, Lukas Sheehan

2023: Phoebe-Louise Stewart Carter, Self Portrait in the Winter

2022: Laura Hope, Micheal

2021: Marco Bizzarri, Silente I

2020: Nneka Uzoigwe, Lily Before the Play

2019: Joshua Waterhouse, The Engineer

2018: Emma Hopkins RP, Doreen Wallace

2017: Jamie Routley, Alex Liederman at 17

2016: Stephanie Kullberg, Portrait of Lisa

2015: Lorna May Wadsworth, They Have Lunch Every Tuesday / Conversation Piece: Messrs Corbin & King

2014: Flora Watson, Studio 26

2013: Kelvin Okafor, Melvin

The RP Prize for the Best Small Portrait


2024: Florence Yuqing RI, Last Letter from Me

2023: Carles Belda,  Study for Something Never Ends

2022: Simon Davis RP, Taslima

2021: Will Calver, Self Portrait in Hat

2020: Robbie Wraith RP, Studio Portrait

The Raw Umber Studios Prize


2024: Nashunmenghe, Elizabeth 2024

2023: Simon Davis RP RBSA, Warren Ellis

The Smallwood Architects Prize for Contextual Portraiture


2024: Miriam Escofet RP, "What will survive of us..."

2023: Martyn Harris, Paul's Emporium

2022: Catherine Creaney, Care

2021: Sandra Kuck, Portrait Through a Prism

2020: Steven Wood, Sandancer

2019: David Caldwell RP, Joe with Tattoos

2018: Michael Taylor RP, Alana - Figure with Box

2017: David Cobley RP NEAC, Made to Measure

2016: Lyn Gray, Stephen with Bill

2015: Tom Hughes, Living Room with Lamps

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