Winner of the BP Portrait Award 2007

Copyright. Paul Emsley.

Now that’s some portrait. You can see all 60 portraits in this year BP Portrait exhibition on the National Portrait gallery website (or at the National Portrait gallery of course)

Winner of the BP Portrait Award 2007

Oil on canvas
Trained at Cape Technical College, Cape Town, in recent years Paul Emsley has won the Silver Award for Works on Paper (Art London 2005); First Prize in the Singer & Friedlander Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition (2002) and Third Prize in 2003 and 2001. The sitter is the contemporary artist, Michael Simpson. Both artists live in the same town, and Emsley had always been struck by Simpson’s appearance. Emsley worked from a series of short sittings as he felt he could not ask his subject to sit for long periods of time. The portrait took five weeks to complete.

Paul Emsley (b.1947) lives and works in Bradford on Avon, near Bath. Paul has exhibited widely and won several prizes. His portrait is a large close-up of the head of 67-year-old artist Michael Simpson, whom Emsley often meets by chance in Bradford on Avon, each time struck by his appearance. “I find his face and head visually interesting and with a strong presence,


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