Herbert Smith Freehills 
Portrait Award 2024

Painting of a woman in a long-sleeved gold dress standing with her hands on her hips
Portrait of Fatima by Jamie Coreth, 2019 © Jamie Coreth

11 July - 27 October 2024

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The Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award makes a welcome return to the National Portrait Gallery for 2024. The prestigious competition showcases the very best in contemporary portrait painting and is open to everyone aged eighteen and over. Since its inception over 40 years ago, the competition has attracted over 40,000 entries from more than 100 countries and the exhibition has been seen by over 6 million people.

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Three artists have been shortlisted for the prestigious Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award 2024, selected from 1,647 entries from 62 countries:

  • Zizi (2023) by Isabella Watling
  • Jacqueline with Still Life (2020) by Antony Williams
  • Lying (2020) by Catherine Chambers
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A full-length painted portrait of a woman who holds her arm with her hand. She has dark hair in plaits and wears a puffy chiffon pale pink dress with white socks and bejewelled platform sandals. They stand in a dark interior with a large blue curtain behind them and a wooden prop table reminiscent of royal portraits from the early 19th century.
Zizi (2023) by Isabella Watling © Isabella Watling
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A portrait of a bare-chested woman lying on a blue carpet and a white pillow. They have blond hair and pale skin. Behind them, on the floor, there is a fan and a wooden table with some toy dinosaurs neatly lined up.
Jacqueline with Still Life (2020) by Antony Williams © Antony Williams
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A painted portrait of a man with his eyes shut as he lays on his side on a bed. They wear a red Arsenal football shirt and jeans. The bedroom is very blue.
Lying (2020) by Catherine Chambers © Catherine Chambers

Entries were submitted anonymously and judged by a panel, which included the National Portrait Gallery’s Director, Dr Nicholas Cullinan OBE; visual artist, Barbara Walker MBE RA; sociologist and bioethicist, Sir Tom Shakespeare; actor and host of the podcast, Talk Art, Russell Tovey; and the Gallery’s Curator for Contemporary Collections, Tanya Bentley. The prizes and the artist selected for the Young Artist Award will be announced at the award ceremony on 9 July 2024.


The call for entries closed on 16 January 2024.

Manage your entry


Art has long been recognised for its power to connect and its ability to reflect insights from diverse perspectives. That means embracing differences and benefiting from the unique angles that others can bring to an individual's world view. It's an approach which matches the values we hold close and so we're delighted to continue – and enhance – our longstanding relationship with the National Portrait Gallery. Our hope is that the Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award shines a light on outstanding new talent and enables a new generation of artists to emerge.
Justin D'Agostino, Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Smith Freehills