Image by Mark Gorman

BP Portrait Award – Great free art exhibition

Every year, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery hosts the free BP Portrait Award exhibition for several months. The 2017 show runs from late November through to 11 March 2018 and is in its eighth year in Edinburgh. Previously, only displayed at The National Gallery in London where it has been a fixture for 38 years, but now it visits Edinburgh, Exeter and Sunderland.

It’s an international competition with over 2,500 entries from 87 countries and features a wide variety of styles from photorealistic through to abstract. But all, believe it or not, are paintings.

For me it’s the highlight of the artistic year as many of the finalists are truly jaw dropping in their excellence and it’s made even more inclusive by not just being free but offering a visitors’ choice award where you can vote for your favourite painting.

While you are visiting the Portrait Gallery (itself free to enter), you should take in both their permanent and visiting exhibitions. It will give you a truly interesting insight into Scottish history.

And make sure you see my favourite painting ever – Three Oncologists by Glasgow artist, Ken Currie. ┬áThere’s a great video about it on You Tube here.

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Details about this spot



1 Queen Street, Edinburgh

Opening Times

Daily 10:00 - 17:00




Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)