FAQs: Zurich Portrait Prize 2022

Zurich Portrait Prize logo

The following are answers to some questions you might have about the Zurich Portrait Prize 2022.

Eligibility and entry requirements

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 22 June 2019 and completed by 22 June 2022.

Can I resubmit a portrait I entered last year?

Yes, as long as it was completed between the above dates and was not shortlisted in previous years 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 portrait must be of a size and medium that does not inhibit its display in the Gallery. The Gallery has the right to exclude artworks that cannot be reasonably displayed due to their medium or size. Unframed dimensions must be provided in the entry form. If your artwork is to be displayed framed, those framed dimensions must also be given in the entry form.

What does ‘display-ready’ mean?

Your portrait must be finished and ready for display, without amendment, in the Gallery. If a shortlisted artwork requires a frame, any fitting must be completed before delivery to the Gallery. All 2D artworks will be hung from wires. All 2D artworks need to be able to accommodate a hanging fixing of 15mm wide. Any equipment that is specific and/or integral to the display of the artwork will need to be provided by the artist. This includes television screens and specific plinths and cases.

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


Can I enter a portrait of my pet?

No. Portraits of animals will not be accepted.

Can I enter a portrait of a fictional/imaginary figure?

No. Portraits of fictional/imaginary figures will not be accepted.

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. The Gallery has the right to exclude artworks if the materials, substances, or media used are deemed to be unacceptable i.e. hazardous.

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 submit the portrait. This consent must be marked on the application form. If permission has not been granted, this will lead to disqualification. If shortlisted for the Zurich Portrait Prize, you will be asked to provide proof of consent from the sitter in your portrait.

Is it possible to enter a commissioned portrait?

Yes, once the portrait was started before 22 June 2019 and completed by 22 June 2022.

I have collaborated with the Gallery on past projects and/or am engaged from time to time by the Gallery as a volunteer, freelance tour guide, workshop facilitator or otherwise on an ad hoc basis. Am I eligible to enter the competition?

Yes, you may enter so long as you are not currently undertaking work for, or in collaboration with, the Gallery and you are not scheduled to on or before 26 November 2022.

Entry process

Where do I find the entry form?

Download the Zurich Portrait Prize 2022 entry form here.

What will you do with my personal information?

All personal data provided by you will be held securely by the Gallery and may be shared with our partner venue. Please see the Terms & Conditions for further information on how we will use and process your personal data.

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 entry form?

You are restricted to submitting 1 JPEG of your portrait if it is a flat/2D piece (e.g. painting, photograph etc.), and 3 JPEGs if it is a 3D piece (e.g. sculpture).

What are the requirements for the images that I submit?

The image that you submit must be saved as a JPEG format file. The file must be 300DPI and 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 WeTransfer to the [email protected] email address 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 on WeTransfer to the [email protected] email address and use your own name as the title of the file you are sharing.

Competition timings

What is the closing date?

The closing date for submissions is midnight (IST) 22 June 2022. 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 late July 2022.

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 on 26 November 2022. 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 2022.

Will I be informed if I have not been shortlisted?

Yes. You will be informed by email in early August 2022. The decisions of 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 between Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 August 2022. All dates are subject to change.

When does the exhibition open?

The exhibition of shortlisted portraits will open to the public at the National Gallery of Ireland on 26 November 2022. The prize-giving ceremony will take place on 6 December 2022. All dates are subject to change.

When does the exhibition close?

The Gallery's exhibition of shortlisted portraits will close on 2 April 2023. Please note that the exhibition will then travel to the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, where it will be displayed from 3 June to 2 September 2023.

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.

If my portrait is shortlisted, what information do I need to provide?

If your work is shortlisted (early August 2022), we will then contact you and request the following:

  • Your artist statement
  • Confirmation of contact details
  • Details of your town / locale and county where you currently live or work (for regional media) – with permission for us to share this information with media
  • A headshot (i.e. photo of yourself)
  • Biography 
  • High-res image(s) of your artwork – 300dpi, 3–5 MB (if not already provided)
  • Confirmation of your artwork’s title and credit line information
  • Confirmation of your artwork’s unframed and framed dimensions 
  • Confirmation of display requirements e.g. media, sculpture and how you would like your work to be displayed 
  • Confirmation of permission for media to contact you for interview purposes
  • Your social media handles (where relevant, if not already provided)