The announcement comes as the venue moves the exhibition online – available to view from the 5th May.

Portrait of Denis: Actor, Juggler and Fashion Model by Sergey Svetlakov, 2019 © Sergey Svetlakov

Three artists have now been shortlisted for this year’s BP Portrait Prize 2020, which is set to open as a virtual exhibition from the 5th May due to the current closure of the National Portrait Gallery.

The three portraits up for he £35,000 First Prize are Night Talk by Jiab Prachakul; Portrait of Denis: Actor, Juggler and Fashion Model by Sergey Svetlakov and Labour of Love by Michael YoudsThe shortlisted portraits were selected from 1,981 entries from 69 countries. It is the first time any of the artists have been shortlisted for the Award or selected for exhibition.

The prize winners will be announced on Tuesday 5th May through the National Portrait Gallery’s social media channels. All of the 48 works selected for the exhibition will be displayed in a virtual gallery space that will replicate the rooms of the National Portrait Gallery. By displaying them in this way, it will allow online visitors to to view the portraits collectively, read the labels and get insights from the artists, as well as exploring each individual work in more detail.

The exhibition was originally set to open at the National Portrait Gallery on the 21st May 2020, but has been postponed following the Gallery’s temporary closure to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus and ensure the safety and wellbeing of visitors and staff. It is not yet known if the exhibition will be able to be shown at the Gallery before building works begin on Inspiring People, the Gallery’s major redevelopment project, at the end of June. The exhibition is set to tour to Aberdeen Art Gallery towards the end of the year and details and dates will be confirmed in due course.