The 10 Million Pound Acquisition: Self Portrait by Van Dyke c. 1640
The museum is free. I recommend that you check it out, if you have any interest in portraits, history or famous British people. It covers the late Middle Ages to the present day.
A John Singer Sargent Portrait
The main purpose is of a portrait is to immortalize the subject. The painting styles and techniques reflect the trends of the period when they are completed. Portraits can be drawings, paintings, photographs or sculptures.
The BP Portrait Awards for 2014 were going to be announced on June 26 the day after we left. A few days ago, I remembered to go to the website to see who won.
A prize of 30,000 pounds (about $50 grand) goes to the winner. Of the 2377 entries, 55 were chosen to be shown.
Here is an example, but not the winner:
Engels by Patrik GrahamHere are the 55 chosen: 55 BP Portraits
Here are the winners: Top 5 BP Portrait Winners 2014
There are three interesting short videos showing the selection process: 3 minute videos
I watched the videos first and then went through the individual images of the portraits.
One of the judges said that "you can tell incredibly quickly which portraits are more about the person who painted them than about the person who is sitting for them."