Zurich Portrait Prize 2019 - Frequently Asked Questions

zurich portrait prize
The following are a list of frequently asked questions for artists entering the Zurich Portrait Prize 2019.


How many entries can I submit? 
Entry is limited to one portrait per artist.

Can I submit a portrait I did a few years ago?
The submitted portrait must have been started after 20 June 2016 and completed by 20 June 2019.

Can I resubmit a portrait I entered last year?
Yes, as long as it was completed between the above dates and was not shortlisted for the Hennessy or Zurich Portrait Prize competitions at the National Gallery of Ireland.

If my portrait has won another award can I enter it?

Are there any size restrictions? 
The work must be of a size and medium that does not inhibit its display in the Gallery.

What does ‘display-ready’ mean?
Your portrait must be finished and ready for display, without amendment, in the Gallery. If a shortlisted work requires a frame, any fitting must be completed before delivery to the Gallery. 

Can I enter a self-portrait or a group portrait?

Can I enter a portrait of my pet?
No. Portraits of animals are not acceptable.

Can I enter a portrait of a fictional/ imaginary figure?
No. Portraits of fictional/ imaginary figures are not acceptable.

Can I enter a diptych/triptych? 

What media can I use? 
Works in any media (including photography, video, sound, print, textiles, ceramics, sculpture etc.) are acceptable.

Is it necessary to have the consent of the sitter? 
Yes. The artist must have the consent of the sitter(s) (or, where relevant, the sitter’s parent, guardian or estate) to display the portrait. The consent must be marked on the application form. PLEASE ATTACH PROOF OF CONSENT WITH YOUR APPLICATION FORM. If permission has not been granted, this will lead to disqualification.

Is it possible to enter a commissioned portrait?
Yes, once the portrait was started before 20 June 2016 and completed by 20 June 2019.


Where do I find the entry form?
You can download it here

What will you do with my personal information? 
All personal data given will be held securely by the Gallery and will be used to administer your entry. It may be used for internal research/statistical purposes. Your data will also be shared with our partner The Crawford Art Gallery, Cork.  

Can I send in my application by post? 
No. All submissions must be made via email as a word document to: [email protected] 

How many digital photographs can I submit with my form? 
You are restricted to submitting 1 JPEG of your portrait if it is a flat/2D piece (e.g. painting; photograph), and 3 digital images if it is a 3D piece (e.g. sculpture).
What are the requirements for the images that I submit? 
The image that you must be saved as a JPEG format. The file size must be no larger than 3MB. Any file size larger than 3MB is not admissible to the prize.

How do I submit a video portrait?
For video portraits, please share your video on a file-sharing service such as WeTransfer and use your own name as the title of the file you are sharing.

How do I submit an audio/sound portrait?
Please submit an MP3 or WAV file.


What is the closing date? 
The closing date for submissions is midnight (GMT) 20 June 2019. No entries submitted after this date and time will be considered.

When does the judging happen?
The panel of judges will make their initial selection in July 2019.

How does the judging process work? 
All the digital images/files of portraits successfully entered will be viewed by a panel of judges. From these entries, the judges will draw up a longlist for a second round of adjudication.  From that longlist they will select the final shortlist to go on display at the Gallery in October 2019.  They will then choose the winning portrait and two highly-commended portraits, having examined the artworks in situ in the Gallery.

When will I hear if my portrait has been shortlisted for the exhibition? 
You will be notified by email in early August 2019.

Will I be informed if I have not been shortlisted?
Yes. You will be informed by email in early August 2019. The decisions the judges are final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into in relation to such decisions. Feedback will not be available whether an artist is shortlisted or not. 

If my work has been shortlisted when will I need to deliver it to the Gallery?
All shortlisted portraits must be delivered to the Gallery by appointment in August 2019 (date to be confirmed).
When does the exhibition open?
The exhibition of shortlisted portraits will open at the National Gallery in early October 2019.

When does the exhibition close?
The exhibition of shortlisted portraits will close on 12 January 2020. Please note that the exhibition will then travel to our partnering venue, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, where the shortlisted works will be displayed from 31 January to 13 April 2020. 

If my portrait is shortlisted, how will it be transported to the second venue?
The transport of works between venues will be facilitated by the National Gallery of Ireland. 

You can download a PDF copy of these rules here