New Exhibition – Self Portrait Prize 2023

New Exhibition – Self Portrait Prize 2023

The Self Portrait Prize is a biennial art prize that celebrates the practice of self-portraiture

This year’s £10,000 prize, selected from over 1800 entries, was won by Colin Davidson, an internationally renowned portrait artist who lives and works near Belfast, Northern Ireland. Colin’s portrait sitters have included Brad Pitt, Ed Sheeran, Liam Neeson, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Lady Mary Peters, Markéta Irglová, Mark Knopfler and Seamus Heaney.

The Prize, established in 2011, is the only art competition of its kind to focus exclusively on self-portraiture, and was inspired by Ruth Borchard, who between 1958 and 1971 created a collection of paintings dedicated exclusively to self-portraiture. With a small budget, limiting herself to just  21 guineas for each picture, she collected one hundred self-portraits. The rich and varied collection includes work by many well-known artists including Michael Ayrton, Anne Redpath, Euan Uglow, Ithell Colquhoun. and Keith Vaughan.

Self Portrait Prize 2023

23 September – 16 December 2023
Mon-Sat. 10am-4pm. Free entry. (Closed Sundays & Bank Holidays)

About the Prize

The Self-Portrait Prize is the only art competition of its kind to focus exclusively on self-portraiture. Established in 2011, it is managed by the Ruth Borchard Collection and Piano Nobile. It is open to artists of all ages and abilities, and submitted self-portraits can be in any medium. Previous prize winners include Celia Paul (2011), David Dawson (2019) and Lucy Jones (2021). Previous entrants include Maggi Hambling (2011), Tracey Emin (2013) and Jonathan Yeo (2019).

The 2023 Prize’s judging panel included eminent members of the art world: Director of the National Gallery, Dr Gabriele Finaldi; Financial Times columnist Melanie Gerlis; former Director of the British Council, Andrea Rose; Principal Manager of The Atkinson Stephen Whittle; the 2021 Prize Winner Lucy Jones; and Ruth Borchard’s grandson David Borchard.

The Ruth Borchard Collection was the life-long project of writer Ruth Borchard (1910-2000). Born near Hamburg in 1910, the writer Ruth Borchard came as a German-Jewish refugee to Britain in 1938. As ‘an enemy alien’ in wartime she was imprisoned first in Holloway Prison, then interned on the Isle of Man in 1940. In 1958 she refashioned a pre-war German diary to note names of British-based artists she intended to contact to create a collection of modern self-portraits. Between then and 1971 she collected 100 such works (setting a limit of 21 guineas for each picture) – from well known-artists such as Michael Ayrton, Anne Redpath, Euan Uglow, Ithell Colquhoun. and Keith Vaughan. It is one of the only UK public collections dedicated exclusively to self-portraiture. It holds a variety of historically important twentieth-century British art with examples of movements and styles including the Camden Town Group, the Euston Road School, Kitchen Sink realism and Art Brut. The full collection can be viewed on the Art UK website and at

Piano Nobile are a commercial art gallery in London specialising in twentieth-century British art. Recent exhibitions have focused on Ben Nicholson, Walter Sickert and Frank Auerbach. The gallery has established a reputation for authoritative exhibitions and publications under the gallery’s imprint, Piano Nobile Publications. Piano Nobile, 96/129 Portland Road, Holland Park, London W11 4LW.


23.06.2023 – Winner Announced, Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize 2023 –


Posted on 23 September 2023 under Exhibition, General news

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