Zurich Portrait Prize - Frequently Asked Questions

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

Entry forms for the prize can be found at the foot of the page. 



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 23 June 2015 and completed by 22 June 2018.

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 Portrait Prize.

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

If I created my portrait as a commission is it eligible?
No, commissioned portraits are not acceptable.

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. Proof of permission may be sought if the portrait is shortlisted.


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 only be used to administer your entry. It may be used for internal research/statistical purposes. It will not be passed to any third parties. 

Can I send in my application by post? 
No. All submissions must be made via email 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. 

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) 22 June 2018. 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 during July 2018.

How does the judging process work? 
All the digital images/files of portraits successfully entered will be viewed by a panel of four 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 2018.  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 at the end of July 2018.

Will I be informed if I have not been shortlisted?
Yes. You will be informed by the end of July 2018.

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 late August 2018 (date to be confirmed).
When does the exhibition open?
The exhibition of shortlisted portraits will open at the National Gallery in early October 2018.


The Zurich Portrait Prize entry form can be downloaded here: