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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best arts magazine in the UK“, The Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ 132nd Annual Exhibition, which will be held in May at Mall Galleries, London.

The Royal Society Of Portrait Painters

‘Mama’ by Kevin Di on The Table Read Magazine
‘Mama’ by Kevin Di

The prestigious and historic show, which was first held in 1891, is the largest and most significant celebration of contemporary portrait painting in Europe. It will feature approximately 230 beautiful portraits that have been expertly curated by artist members of the RP.

50% OFF Painting

Visitors will also be able to order their own portraits from the exhibiting artists, and many of the portraits that will be on display will be available for purchase by the general public.

Artists from all over the world submit portraits for consideration for the RP’s Annual Exhibition, where they compete for £40,000 in prizes. The number of entries to the exhibition this year was almost 3,500, up from 2,800 the previous year, with 1,208 coming from outside the UK. 

‘Grief,’ a portrait of Richard E. Grant by Wendy Barratt on The Table Read Magazine
‘Grief,’ a portrait of Richard E. Grant by Wendy Barratt

Pictures to be shown incorporate artworks, drawings and unique prints from both UK and global craftsmen with work by anticipated specialists displayed close by laid out RP individuals. The current year’s Yearly Show subject is ‘clothing’ and there will likewise be a unique presentation of pictures from Girton School, College of Cambridge.

Anthony Connolly

Since last year, painter Anthony Connolly PRP has been elected president of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. Anthony stated regarding this year’s Annual Exhibition that portraiture is not just for the titled, dons, and captains of industry.

Numerous painters have created portraits of a variety of people; subjects address each piece of contemporary society. That delicate balance between the painter’s subject and the material is a huge and enduring fascination.

Musician William Ellis by Simon Davis RP on The Table Read Magazine
Musician William Ellis by Simon Davis RP

The Annual Exhibition this year demonstrates that portraiture in the United Kingdom is truly “bubbling” and showcases a wide range of artists without lowering standards.

Celebrity Portraits

This year’s Annual Exhibition features a number of celebrity portraits, including Musician William Ellis by Simon Davis RP. These include, among others, portraits of actor Richard E. Grant, journalist and newsreader Clive Myrie, musician William Ellis, and actress T’Nia Miller.

The Painter’s Portraits

The Annual Exhibition receives more entries each year due to the resurgence of the portrait as a form of art, particularly the release of “the painter’s portrait.” There were almost 3,500 entries this year, up from 2,800 the previous year. Portraiture has historically been heavily associated with privilege, which may have contributed to its decreasing significance in the art world. Yet, the RP is seeing an ocean change and a resurgence of picture as a fine art. P

Catherine by Daniel Shadbolt on The Table Read Magazine
Catherine by Daniel Shadbolt

RP Anthony Connolly stated that the art of portrait painting is still around. It is surfing, skateboarding, and untethered. It has never been more stimulated.


In addition, portraits that look like photographs are being replaced by “the painter’s portraits,” which are painted from life and accurately depict the subject without compromising the artist’s distinctive vision, method, or style. This is making it possible for portraits to be more painterly, for braver interpretations of the genre, and for artists who would not normally be associated with portraits to enter the field.

According to Anthony Connolly, because portraiture is a form of commissioned art, the artist is always influenced in some way by their client’s requirements. However, clients are becoming more aware of and appreciative of the power of releasing the artist to create art with the same sincerity they would with other subjects. The portraits created in this manner, which are truly “the painter’s portraits,” will endure time and be considered masterpieces in the future. Not those who are constrained by patronage.

‘The Wisdom’ by Varvara on The Table Read Magazine
‘The Wisdom’ by Varvara

Clothing Portraits

Every year, the RP Award honors a portrait that best exemplifies the theme chosen for the year. Every year, the theme changes to encourage artists to consider portraiture and investigate various aspects of the art form. This year, “clothing” was chosen as the theme, and many of the portraits in the Annual Exhibition this year show important and interesting interpretations of it.

Commissioned Portraits

Portrait commissions and the RP member with the highest number of commissions. Visitors to the Annual Exhibition can buy many of the portraits on display (in person and online), but perhaps even more interestingly, they can order their own. As a result, the exhibit gives visitors a unique look at a wide range of portraiture styles and interpretations by showcasing both seasoned RP members and Europe’s most exciting and upcoming artists. For one-on-one consultations, a representative from the RP’s commissioning service will be present at the Annual Exhibition. The service is also accessible online.

This year’s Annual Exhibition will feature two paintings by Frances Bell, “the end of lockdown” and “Clemmie and Hiccup,” who is the RP’s most frequently commissioned portrait artist. The Imperial Society of Representation Painters’ Leader Anthony Connolly PRP will likewise be displaying two compositions at the Yearly Show, including ‘Isabella.’

The William Lock Picture Prize and other presentation grants –

English craftsmanship student of history, Andrew Graham-Dixon, reporting the victor and introducing the awards on Wednesday third May 2023

Gaia by Anna Laurin on The Table Read Magazine
Gaia by Anna Laurin

The Royal Society of Picture Painters is focused on supporting the continuous custom of likeness in the UK. The society gives up-and-coming portrait painters support in a number of ways, including the Annual Exhibition, which is a high-profile gallery show and awards of up to £40,000 to selected artists.

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The Annual Exhibition’s most timeless portrait with a genuine appreciation for paint and its aesthetic potential wins £20,000 in the William Lock Portrait Prize. The triumphant craftsman will be reported on the morning of Wednesday third May 2023 with English workmanship history specialist Andrew Graham Dixon opening the presentation and introducing the awards.

Other awards given at the Annual Exhibition include;

Self Portrait by Mark Roscoe on The Table Read Magazine
Self Portrait by Mark Roscoe

• The Ondaatje Prize for Photography: £10,000 in addition to the Society’s Gold Medal, which is given to the portrait that stands out the most in the annual exhibition of the Society.

• The RP Award: The artist whose work best reflects the chosen theme for the year, which for 2023 is “Clothing,” will receive £2,000.


• The RP Prize for the Best Small Portrait: An award of £2,000 for the best little picture in the display, estimating not in excess of 38 x 30.5 cm (15 x 12 inches) unframed

• The de Laszlo Foundation Grant: £3,000 in addition to a Silver Decoration for the most remarkable picture by a craftsman matured 35 years or under

• The Smallwood Architects Prize: The £1,000 prize, which began in 2016, is given to a portrait that features significant architectural or interior elements.

Find more now:

Thurs 4th to Sat 13th May 2023, Mall Galleries, London

–        Many portraits are for sale –        Visitors can commission their own portrait by exhibiting artists

–        The Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ Annual Exhibition: Royal Society of Portrait Painters | Annual Exhibition 2022 | Mall Galleries

–        The Royal Society of Portrait Painters (The RP): HOME – The Royal Society of Portrait Painters (

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