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Darling Portrait Prize

Guidelines for entrants


These terms and conditions (Rules) govern your entry to the National Portrait Gallery’s (NPG) Darling Portrait Prize (the Prize).

To ensure your entry is valid your entry must be:

  • a painted portrait;
  • in one of the media set out below under “Entries”;
  • completed on or after 1 September 2018; and
  • accompanied by a Sitter Consent Form (available to download at the bottom of this page) signed and completed by the sitter.

Please do not deliver your painting to the NPG unless invited to do so. To enter, you will need to upload a digital image of your painting through the NPG’s online entry registration page (which will open on 1 May 2019). You will be notified if your entry makes it to the second round of judging (in which case you will need to deliver your entry to the NPG, in Canberra).


Your entry (Painting) must be of:

  • an Australian citizen or Australian citizens;
  • a person or people who have each been resident in Australia for at least twelve months immediately prior to your online entry;
  • a person or persons having a strong association with Australia, or who has made a significant contribution to Australian life; or
  • any combination of the above.


To be eligible to enter, you must be:

  • an Australian citizen; or
  • a resident of Australia for at least twelve months immediately prior to your online entry.
  • You must also be 18 years or over at the time of your online entry.

Officers, directors and employees of the NPG (together with their immediate families) are not eligible to enter.


Your Painting must:

  • be based on a live sitting or study from life;
  • be painted entirely by you;
  • be a painting (photographic, sculptural and other portrait media are not eligible);
  • be predominantly in oil, tempera or acrylic (watercolours, works on paper and pastels are not eligible);
  • be completed on or after 1 September 2018;
  • be on a stretcher or board, preferably framed and unglazed;
  • be ready for hanging; and
  • be no larger than 150cm tall by 150cm wide (including frame);

In addition:

  • you may only enter one painting for the Prize;
  • the human figure must predominate in your Painting;
  • self-portraits and group portraits are permitted; and
  • diptychs and triptychs may be submitted, provided the entire work does not, overall, exceed the maximum permitted size.

Registration and first round of judging

Entries close at 9:00am on Tuesday 1 October 2019 and may only be made online, when entries open on 1 May 2019.

When registering, you must:

  • fill in all the required fields;
  • submit a brief narrative of maximum of 100 words about the sitter in the required field. You should discuss the wording of this with the sitter. If your painting is selected for the Exhibition the NPG will edit the text for consistency for wall labels.
  • upload a single jpeg format image of the entire Painting (including all parts of any diptych or triptych);
  • ensure that the file size is of sufficient quality to enable the judges properly to assess your Painting;
  • pay a non-refundable entry fee of $75.00; and
  • upload the signed and completed Sitter Consent Form.

The NPG will send you a confirmation email if you have complied with the above.

Second round of judging

You will be notified by 21 October 2019 if your Painting is selected for the second round of judging.

If selected for the second round, you will need to deliver your artwork to the NPG between 4 and 15 November 2019 inclusive and (unless otherwise agreed by the NPG) only between the hours of 9.00am and 4.30pm on those days.

Works will not be accepted for second-round judging if:

  • not delivered, or if only delivered after 15 November 2019; or
  • if delivered while the Painting is still wet.

You must meet all costs associated with the delivery of your Painting and the NPG will not accept any cost or charges for delivery of your Painting.

Deliveries will be receipted, but if you are delivering work by freight company or courier service and require proof of delivery, you should use a service that provides such notifications.


If successful in the second round of judging:

  • your Painting will be exhibited at the NPG’s Darling Portrait Prize Exhibition (the Exhibition) from March 2020;
  • if requested, you agree to make reasonable attempts to make yourself available to attend the press preview of the exhibition and the announcement of the prize in March 2020; and
  • you will be invited to the press preview, Prize announcement and opening function in March 2020.

You may not remove your Painting from the Exhibition or until the collection period stated below.

Judging and prize money

The winner of the Prize will be selected by a judging panel of at least three members, chaired by the Director of the NPG. The members of the judging panel and the number of members will be decided solely by the NPG.

The Prize is a cash prize of $75,000 (inclusive of GST), which will be paid in accordance with relevant Commonwealth Government protocols.

The NPG reserves the right:

  • not to award the prize should the judging panel be of the view that no entry of sufficient merit has been entered; and
  • to split the prize between one or more entries should that be the recommendation of the judging panel.

All decisions of the judges and the NPG are final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

The NPG reserves the right to disqualify any work for prize selection if the artist has not adhered to these Rules.

Collection/return of paintings

You must collect or arrange the collection of your Painting, at your own cost, as follows:

  • if submitted for second-round judging but not selected for the Exhibition:
    between 2 and 13 December 2019 (9.00am to 4.30pm)
  • if it is selected for the Exhibition:
    May 2020, exact dates to be determined (9.00am and 4.30pm)

The NPG will pack the Painting in the same packaging in which it was delivered, but will not arrange any freight company or courier service collections on your behalf, and will not accept any collection costs or charges.

If you wish someone to collect your Painting on your behalf then, unless you have organised some other arrangement with the NPG, you will need to ensure that your representative has a copy of the receipt issued on delivery or some other valid form of identification.

If you do not collect your Painting within the relevant period stated above, you agree that:

  • the NPG may remove your Painting to a commercial storage facility;
  • you will become liable for all storage and transport costs; and
  • if you do not collect the Painting within six months, the NPG may, at its discretion, dispose of or destroy your Painting without further notice to you (in which case the NPG may recover any storage and transport costs that remain outstanding from any proceeds and retain any balance).

Copyright and licence to the NPG

Copyright in your Painting will remain with you.

If selected for the Exhibition, you grant the NPG a non-exclusive and irrevocable licence to use and authorise the use of the copyright in your Painting for:

  • the Exhibition (including advertising, catalogues and other media associated with any display of the painting in the Exhibition);
  • the NPG’s website and social media platforms;
  • television programs that involve or relate to the NPG or the subject of the interview;
  • research or study;
  • educational purposes; and
  • the NPG’s archival and preservation purposes.
  • In conjunction with promotion of the Exhibition in future years.

You also agree that, if your Painting is included in the Exhibition:

  • it will be impracticable for the NPG to prevent visitors taking photographs of the painting (including on their smartphones); and
  • you will not hold the NPG liable for such unauthorised photography.

Option to purchase

If you advance to the second round of judging, the NPG may, in its sole discretion and at any time up until you collect your Painting, choose to open negotiations with you to purchase your Painting for its collections (the Option).

If the NPG exercises the Option, you agree to negotiate in good faith for such a purchase at the ordinary purchase price for a work such as your Painting (having regard to the market for your paintings as at the date you register your entry).

You also acknowledge that:

  • nothing in these Rules compels the NPG to exercise the Option; and
  • the NPG may exercise its Option whether or not your Painting is awarded the Prize.

Other terms and conditions

You warrant that:

  • you are authorised to enter the competition and can agree to these Rules;
  • your Painting will not infringe copyright or any other third party rights; and
  • before registration, you will have obtained all necessary permits, permissions and approvals for your Painting (for example, any necessary location releases or copyright licences).

To the maximum extent permitted by law, neither the NPG (including its sponsors, staff, agents, officers and contractors) nor any member of the judging panel (together, the Indemnified) will be liable for any loss or damage to your Painting while it is in their care, custody or control. If you are concerned about any loss of or damage to your Painting while it is with the NPG, you should take out your own insurance coverage. You indemnify the Indemnified against any claim for loss or damage to your Painting.

To the maximum extent permitted by law and except for the express written terms in these Rules, all other express or implied terms, conditions, warranties, statements, assurances and representations made by the NPG in relation to the Prize competition or these Terms and Conditions are expressly excluded.