The Royal Society for Portrait Painters
Frances Bell RP ROI ARSMA, 'Hera'

The Royal Society of Portrait Painters brings contemporary portraiture to Mall Galleries

07 May 2024 | |By Hitanshi Kamdar

From contemporary portraits to personal commissions, here’s what to expect from the annual exhibition

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Mall Galleries

Consider one of the most famous paintings in the world: the Mona Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci’s Renaissance masterpiece continues to draw throngs of admirers to the Louvre daily, all fascinated by the subject’s enigmatic expression. Why? Perhaps it’s because paintings speak louder when they capture humanity; when they showcase a soul you can connect with. 

And, while ancient portraits are intriguing and can tell us volumes about those who came before, contemporary portraits capture the essence of modern life wonderfully. Want to see this for yourself? Head to Mall Galleries in St James’s, London, this May for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual exhibition.

For the uninitiated, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) is a members-only charity that champions some of the UK’s finest portrait painters. Its annual exhibition is one of the capital’s longest-running art events, with the first held in 1891. This year, the RP’s prestigious annual exhibition will be held at Mall Galleries from 9-18 May 2024, where you’ll find a selection of drawn and painted portraits by members on display alongside notable national and international submissions.

The Royal Society for Portrait Painters
Miriam Escofet RP, ‘Joanna George’

Commissioning your own portrait

In addition to exhibiting remarkable portraits, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters also boasts a dedicated portrait commission service. The service helps guide you through the unique process of selecting the artist best suited to your needs and preferences from a diverse range of options. You, as the sitter, then become involved in the process as part of the artwork, getting a glimpse into the artist’s process.

Looking to commission a portrait of yourself or a loved one? You can discuss your ideas and explore the commission service at the Mall Galleries exhibition, where fine art commissions manager Martina Merelli-Stevens will be on hand throughout.

The Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual exhibition will run from 9-18 May 2024 at Mall Galleries, The Mall, St James’s, London, SW1. To book tickets and find out more visit