Royal Society of Portrait Painters

Woman walking in front of portrait paintings
Installation shot of paintings on a wall

Artists are invited to submit work for exhibition alongside members of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters at the RP Annual Exhibition 2024

The Royal Society of Portrait Painters invites artists around the world to submit portraits for its annual exhibition.

Selected artists will have their work exhibited in a prestigious showcase at Mall Galleries, London, at which a number of works will sell and a number of commissions will be placed.

The total prize fund is £40,000, including The William Lock Portrait Prize (£20,000) and The Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture (£10,000).

The Society welcomes paintings, drawings and original prints from artists aged 18 and over, in the UK and internationally.

Submissions are now closed

Prizes & Awards

The exhibition offers prizes and awards worth £40,000:

The William Lock Portrait Prize
£20,000 for the most timeless portrait with a real feeling for paint and its aesthetic potential.

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 de Laszlo Foundation Award
£3,000 for the most outstanding portrait by an artist aged 35 years or under, plus four Highly Commended awards of £500 each

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) unframed

The Raw Umber Studios Prize
Raw Umber Studios believes that the most exciting contemporary portraiture lies at the intersection of technical excellence and creative expression. Their annual prize, inaugurated in 2023, encourages and rewards such work. Value £2,000.

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

Subject to final confirmation

One of the factors which makes this Annual Exhibition special is that it is selected exclusively by practising painters. They know what they're looking at and so inclusion in the show is a truly meaningful accolade.

Anthony Connolly - President

Key Dates

Submissions open: Friday 27 October 2023, 12 noon

Submissions close: Monday 29 January 2024, 5pm

Notification of pre-selection: Wednesday 7 February, 12 noon

Receiving Day (if pre-selected): Saturday 2 March, 10am to 5pm

Notification of final selection: Tuesday 5 March, 12 noon

Collection of unaccepted work: Thursday 7 March, 10am to 5pm

Private View (invite only): Wednesday 8 May, 11am to 8pm, official opening at 12 noon

Exhibition opens: Thursday 9 May, 10am to 5pm daily

Exhibition closes: Saturday 18 May, 5pm

Collection of unsold work: Thursday 23 May, 10am to 5pm

RPI 254 jpg

How to Submit

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

• Upload your work to our Open Exhibition Submission System (OESS) by 5pm on Monday 29 January 2024. Note: Images must be in JPEG or PNG format and under 5MB.

• Log in to the OESS from 12 noon on Wednesday 7 February to see if your work has been pre-selected

• If pre-selected, deliver your work for final selection on Saturday 2 March, 10am to 5pm, to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD*

• Check this page from 12 noon on Tuesday 5 March to see if your work has been selected

• If unaccepted, collect your work on Thursday 7 March, 10am to 5pm

*International Artists: All international submissions will be selected ONLINE ONLY, therefore selected international artists will need to ship their work to the gallery on a date to be announced

Important Information for Artists


Who may enter?

Any artist aged 18 or over may enter, from anywhere in the world. 

How many works may I enter?

Artists may enter a maximum of four works each, from which up to three works per artist may be selected.

What type of work is eligible? 

The Society welcomes paintings, drawings and original prints - including digital/iPad prints. Sculpture and photography are not admissible.

Works should be based on a sitting or study of the human figure from life. We understand that artists may use photographs for assistance but the primary source should be from life.

Works must have been completed in the last three years and not been exhibited in London previously.

Works should not be larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension. 

All works must be an original creation by the artist.

Submission Fee

How much does it cost to enter?

There is a non-refundable submission fee of £20 per work, or £14 per work for artists aged 35 or under. 

The submission fee includes free admission to the exhibition (normally £5). 


How should I present my work?

Frames or stretchers should be sufficiently substantial to withstand mirror plating with 12mm (size 6) screws.

Artists are advised to use plain, simple framing. 

Metal frames, unprotected glass edges and clip frames are inadmissible. 

Please remove all fittings and fixings from the back of frames, for example D-rings and picture wire. This is to prevent damage to other works, and because we will mirror-plate works for hanging. 

Delivery & Collection

Works should be delivered and collected on the specified receiving and collection days via the gallery's rear entrance at Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD. 

If you are unable to deliver or collect your work, you may send another person on your behalf – this may include an art courier (see below).

Artists are responsible for the costs of delivery and collection.


Works should be delivered unwrapped with the relevant form and labels, which are downloadable upon notification of selection.

All packaging must be taken away at the point of delivery. 


We are unable to wrap works or provide wrapping for works being returned. 

Any uncollected works will be removed from the gallery after the collection day and stored by an independent courier company at the artist's expense. 

If works are not collected within 12 months of the collection day, the gallery will be entitled to destroy, sell, or otherwise dispose of the works without consent, prior notification, or compensation to the artist. 

Art Couriers 

Below is a list of art couriers by region: 

• London, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Bristol

Art Moves of Chelsea
020 7352 7492

• Scotland, the North of England and Birmingham 

Picture Post Art
07833 450788

Picture Post Art receive artwork for delivery to UK galleries: “handing in” unwrapped and storing packaging free of charge for reuse if required.

• Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset

3 Lanes Transport
01736 799298 / 07970 948324

• Leicester, Loughborough, Coventry, Birmingham and Nottingham

JD Art Transport
07825 339787

• Norfolk and Suffolk 

A S Elvin Transport Ltd
01502 677025

• Nationwide

Aardvark Art Services
01253 794673

• Wales

Mid Wales Freight
07866 731400 / 01974 282500

International Artists 

Many international artists use Picture Post Art to transport their work to and from Mall Galleries.

Picture Post Art arrange for the shipping of work from the artist's country to the UK, help artists to correctly fill out paperwork from customs, and store packaging for reuse if required. 

Picture Post Art
+ 44 7833 450788

Please note that we do not accept liability for the services of any art courier.


How are works selected for exhibition? 

The works for exhibition are selected by a committee formed of members of the Society. 

For an outline of the submission and selection process, please see ‘How to Submit’ (above).

If works arrive damaged, with unacceptable framing, size discrepancies from the original submission, or not as shown online, these will be withdrawn and will need to be collected from Mall Galleries by the artist at their expense.

May I ask for feedback?

The decision of the Selection Committee is final and we are unable to offer feedback.

How are the prize winners selected?

The prize winning works are selected in time for the awards ceremony during the Private View, prior to the exhibition opening to the public. 


Does my work have to be for sale?

Although the exhibition is an excellent opportunity to sell work, works may be listed as not for sale.

Once work has been submitted, any sale made by the gallery before or during the course of the exhibition up to and including the collection day shall take precedence and supersede one made privately. Any private sale made in this period will incur the normal commission. 

How should I price my work?

If for sale, work must have a minimum sale price of £300 (framed prints: £180, unframed prints £120 - buyers will not be charged for postage and packaging of unframed prints, so please ensure the price of unframed prints allows for this).

Unless otherwise advised, the gallery will charge a commission on the total price paid for works, including commissioned works, before, during, or as a result of the exhibition. 

The price submitted should be the selling price, which should include commission, and is the price at which the work will be sold.

The price of works must include commission of 45% +VAT. If an artist is registered for VAT, then the VAT due on the selling price of works should be included in the price submitted. 

Mall Galleries reserves the right to query the price of works. 

May I change the price of my work once submitted?

The price of works may only be changed by written agreement between the artist and Mall Galleries. 

How will I know if my work has sold?

You will be notified by Mall Galleries if your work sells. 

I am an international artist, do I need to register for a UK VAT number to sell my work?

Artists who are not resident in the UK but are resident in the EU or elsewhere are welcome to submit work. If your work is selected for the exhibition, you have a responsibility to register and account for UK VAT with H.M. Revenue & Customs. 

Artists without a UK residence, known as 'NETPs' (non-established taxable persons) can find further details on 'NETP' status and how to register for VAT at (HM Revenues & Customs Reference: Notice 700/1, Mar 2014) under the heading 'Should I be registered for VAT?'

Please note: the registration process can take up to 4 weeks. Please address any questions you may have to the VAT Helpline on tel. no. 0300 200 3700 or Outside UK: +44 2920 501 261.

Personal Data

The gallery will hold personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, the gallery may provide third parties with an artist's contact details in the course of administering exhibitions, commissions and prizes.

The gallery has the right to reproduce works in connection with the exhibition. 

The copyright and all other intellectual property rights will remain with the artist. If any rights are owned by a third party, that third party will remain the owner. 

By submitting your contact details, you agree to be contacted about similar activities, such as artist opportunities and open calls organised by Mall Galleries / Federation of British Artists. 


The gallery is not responsible for any loss of, or any damage to, works entrusted to them. All goods are at the artist owner's risk absolutely and the gallery and/or their agents exclude all liability to the maximum extent permitted by law. The galleries are used for various purposes and so artists are advised to insure their works against all risks. 

The gallery endeavours to take good care of works sent for exhibition, but in the event of a work sent being lost, destroyed or damaged, the gallery's liability (if any) shall not exceed the value of the work as stated at the time of submission (less 45% plus VAT) or any altered price subsequently. 

In the event of any dispute regarding loss or damage, the dispute shall be referred for final arbitration to an independent expert valuer to be chosen by agreement between the parties, provided that the arbitrator's award shall not exceed the gallery's maximum liability as above. 

Artists shall indemnify and keep indemnified the gallery against any actions between the artist and any third party. 


If you require support with your application, please contact:

About us

Discover our story

Join our mailing list

Receive the latest updates and announcements

Art Consultancy

Our Art Consultancy specialises in commissioning and curating fine art.

Find Out More

Venue Hire

Located in Central London, Mall Galleries offers over 450sqm of dedicated space, perfect for your next exhibition or event.

Find Out More

Connect with us