The National Portrait Gallery has today confirmed the three shortlisted artists for the BP Portrait Award 2017.
Selected from 2580 entries from 87 countries, the three shortlisted portraits all feature female sitters and were chosen by a panel of judges which included broadcaster Kirsty Wark and artist Michael Landy.
The award which will be presented on the 20th June will see Double Portrait, by French painter and illustrator, Thomas Ehretsmann, depicting his pregnant wife Caroline; Breech! by Suffolk based artist, Benjamin Sullivan, which captures his wife Virginia breastfeeding their eight month old daughter; and Emma, Antony Williams’s portrait of model turned friend, Emma Bruce, all competing for the first prize of £30,000 and a commission worth £5,000.
Meanwhile, the second prize winner will be awarded £10,000 and a third prize of £8,000 is also awarded. The BP Young Artist Award, with a prize of £7,000, goes to one selected artist aged between 18 and 30.
This is the first time that Thomas Ehretsmann and Antony Williams have been shortlisted for First Prize in the BP Portrait Award. Williams was also selected seven times previously for BP Portrait Award exhibitions and Ehretsmann was selected for exhibition in 2016. Benjamin Sullivan was awarded third prize for Hugo, his portrait of the poet Hugo Williams and was also previously selected 12 times for previous BP Portrait Award exhibitions.
2017 marks the 38th year in which the Portrait Award has taken place at the National Portrait Gallery and the 28th year of sponsorship by BP. Its aim is to encourage artists over the age of eighteen to focus upon, and develop, the theme of portraiture in their work.
The BP Portrait Award 2017 Exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery from the 22nd June until the 24th September. For more information visit: http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/bp-portrait-award-2017/exhibition/