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BP Portrait Award 2010


Pub. date: 24 June 2010
Price: £8.50
ISBN: 9781855144248
Format: 190 x 120mm
Extent: 80 pages
Illustrations: 60 colour
Binding: Paperback
Category: Contemporary Art

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out of print

Essay by Rose Tremain

Featuring sixty works from an international list of artists, the BP Portrait Award highlights the vitality of portrait painting today. This book presents the diverse range of styles in contemporary portraiture and the variety of techniques used by artists working in the field today. Rose Tremain's insightful introductory essay explores the reasons why people choose to have their portrait painted, drawing on examples from her own life and writing, as well as on well-known portraits from the National Portrait Gallery's Collection.

The BP Portrait Award, now in its twenty-first year, is one of Britain's most prestigious art prizes, and is the leading showcase for artists throughout the world specialising in portraiture. Last year nearly 300,000 people visited the exhibition, which is based on the competition open to all artists aged eighteen and over from around the world.

The catalogue features sixty works from an international list of artists, which together display a diverse range of styles and painterly techniques. It also includes a fascinating essay by bestselling novelist Rose Tremain and an illustrated article by the 2009 Travel Award winner Isobel Peachey.

Peachey describes the journeys she undertook to Switzerland and Belgium to document historical re-enactment weekends in which participants recreated life in a medieval castle and a Napoleonic battle. Her account and the accompanying portraits capture her sitters' passionate involvement in recreating the past, and their dual identity as contemporary people re-enacting historical events.


Rose Tremain's most recent book, The Road Home, won the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction in 2008. Her novels have been published in 27 countries and have won many prizes, including the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; Restoration was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and was made into a film (1995) and a stage play (2009). The Colour and Music & Silence, are currently in development as films, and the bestselling The Road Home is being adapted for television.
Isobel Peachey trained at Wimbledon School of Art and has been a professional painter since 2001. She was the recipient of the BP Travel Award in 2009.

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