April 04, 2012, 11:16 am -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- The country’s leading portrait exhibition, organised by the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, runs from 3rd to 18th May 2012 at the Mall Galleries, London SW1, displaying painted and drawn portraits by national and international artists, and for art lovers coming from outside of London, LondonTown.com offers a choice of cheap London hotels situated conveniently within walking distance of the central London art gallery.
More than 200 works will go on display, selected from over a thousand submissions, and this year’s show includes a special mini-exhibition to commemorate HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Works by some of the Society’s most distinguished members include paintings and preparatory sketches by Michael Noakes, Jeff Stultiens, Antony Williams, Sue Ryder and John Wonnacott, some of which are on show for the first time.
The Royal Society of Portrait Painters, a group set up in 1891 when twenty-four artists frustrated by the elitist attitude of the Royal Academy, is well known for its annual exhibition, a prestigious event whose opening night is often attended by the celebrities whose portraits hang on the walls.
This year’s exhibition includes portraits of H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh painted by Jemma Phipps and H.R.H. Prince Michael of Kent by Fiona Graham-Mackay. There are portraits of the broadcaster and former politician David Mellor and his partner Lady Cobham and of the pianist Piers Lane by eminent portrait painter June Mendoza whose previous subjects have included Margaret Thatcher and several members of the royal family including the Queen.
Philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley, Justice Secretary Rt. Hon. Kenneth Clarke, politician Rt. Hon. Margaret Beckett and the noted cricket commentator Henry Blofeld are all subjects of portraits featured in the exhibition which displays a diverse range of medium with a strong focus on drawing and character. Daphne Todd, whose portrait of Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes featured in last year’s exhibition, is showing a charming family group, Sophie, Beatrice and Max this time around.
The exhibition gives artists the opportunity to enter several high profile prizes. The Changing Faces prize, the de Laszlo Foundation award, given to the most outstanding portrait by an artist under thirty five years old, and the Prince of Wales’s Award for Portrait Drawing, donated by the Prince of Wales, are picked from portraits displayed in the Society’s annual exhibition. The Ondaatje Prize, one of the most prestigious prizes in the world of portraiture, awards £10,000 and the Society’s Gold Medal to the most distinguished painting in the exhibition.
For more information about the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Exhibition visit LondonTown.com, who offer a whole host of resources for London’s visitors and tourists. Book from a wide choice of hotels in London, find closely situated restaurants, find out other events happening in London and how to travel from the airport to your hotel.
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