While the Gallery is temporarily closed, you can explore the portraits shortlisted for this year's competition online.

1 December 2020 – 21 March 2021
Room 23 | Free admission

The aim of the Zurich Portrait Prize is to showcase and encourage interest in contemporary portraiture, and to raise the profile of the long-standing and constantly evolving National Portrait Collection at the National Gallery of Ireland.

The annual competition is open to artists living on the island of Ireland, and Irish artists living abroad. The winner will receive a cash prize of €15,000, and a commission worth €5,000 to create a work for inclusion in the National Portrait Collection. There will also be two awards of €1,500 for highly commended works.

The shortlist of portraits chosen by the 2020 judging panel will be exhibited at the National Gallery of Ireland until 21 March 2021. The exhibition will then travel to our partner venue, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, where the shortlisted works will be displayed from 17 April to 11 July 2021.


Education programme

We are delighted to offer a range of online talks, tours and workshops in association with this year's Zurich Portrait Prize exhibitions. Explore the education events programme here



An exhibition companion book with illustrations of all portraits shortlisted for the Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2020. Buy it online in the Gallery Shop

Winner of the Zurich Portrait Prize 2020

An oil painting showing a young boy sitting in a chair with hands clasped in his lap

Aidan Crotty

Portrait of a Boy, Morning, 2020

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Highly commended

The shortlist

A woman crouches among snail shells, displayed on sticks. In the background, trees and a woven fence.

Vanessa Jones

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The Judges

The 2020 judging panel comprises artist Rita Duffy; Dr Philip Cottrell, lecturer and assistant professor at the School of Art History and Cultural Policy, UCD; Aoife Ruane, Director of Highlanes Gallery.

About Zurich, sponsors of the Zurich Portrait Prize

Ireland is Zurich’s location of choice for its pan-European company Zurich Insurance plc (ZIP). Since the beginning of 2009, ZIP has been headquartered in Dublin and it is the main risk carrier for Zurich’s general insurance business in the EU. Neil Freshwater is the CEO of Zurich Insurance plc. In terms of domestic business, Zurich focuses on two key business areas in Ireland – General Insurance and Life. In Ireland, Zurich employs approximately 1,100 people.

Find out more about Zurich

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