Ireland’s best portraits of 2022: National Gallery of Ireland reveals Zurich prize shortlists

Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize exhibitions will open in Dublin in November

The contenders for this year’s Zurich portrait prizes have been revealed by the National Gallery of Ireland.

Twenty-six artists have been shortlisted for the Zurich Portrait Prize; 20 artists, aged between four and 18, have been shortlisted for the Zurich Young Portrait Prize. All have made it through to the final round out of hundreds of entries, in a variety of media, from across the country.

The winner of the Zurich Portrait Prize will receive a cash award of €15,000 plus a €5,000 commission to create a work for the national portrait collection. Two additional prizes of €1,500 will be given to highly commended works from those shortlisted. The judges are the artist Diana Copperwhite, Anna O’Sullivan of the Butler Gallery in Kilkenny, and the artist Nick Miller.

In the Zurich Young Portrait Prize, five winners – one from each age category plus an overall winner – will receive art supplies as well as a cash prize; all shortlisted artists will have their work professionally framed/prepared. The judges are Janet McLean of the National Gallery of Ireland, the comic illustrator Nick Roche, and the artist Una Sealy.


Sean Rainbird, the gallery’s director, says he is “delighted that this exhibition gives many new and returning artists the opportunity to show their work at the National Gallery of Ireland”. The prizes “bring together the remarkable breadth of talent in Ireland’s portrait artists of all ages”, according to Neil Freshwater, the chief executive of Zurich Insurance. “We are delighted to see such a strong selection of works once again in this year’s shortlists.”

The shortlisted works for both competitions will be on display at the National Gallery of Ireland, on Merrion Square in Dublin, from Saturday, November 26th, until April 2nd next year. The exhibition will then be on display at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, between June 3rd and September 2nd, 2023.

Zurich Portrait Prize 2022: The 26 shortlisted artists

Rachel Ballagh (Cork), Back Garden, 2021, photograph

Zsolt Basti (Dublin), Megan and Ophelia, 2021, oil on canvas

Shane Blount (Wicklow), Lately I’ve Been Seeing Rainbows, 2022, oil on canvas

Patrick Bolger (Dublin/Wicklow), Louise Kennedy, 2022, photograph

David Booth (Dublin), Salvatore, 2021, oil on board

Enda Burke (Galway), Deirdre by the Window, 2021, photograph

Aisling Coughlan (Dublin), Dead Dad, 2021, oil on wood panel

Catherine Creaney (Tyrone), Care, oil on linen

David Creedon (Cork), Rustam Saidaliev — Sanctuary in a New Land, 2022, photograph

Ian Cumberland (Down), 14314 days, 2022, oil on linen

Barry Delaney (Dublin), Forty Footer, 2021, photograph

Aodán Feeney (Galway), Dead Weight, 2022, oil on canvas

Alexis Pearse Flynn (London), Self-portrait five days after vaccination, 2021, oil on gessoed board

Vanessa Jones (Dublin), HoMi Hand Plow (self-portrait), 2020, Oil on canvas

Bernadette Kiely (Kilkenny), An Artist Becomes Their Work [portrait of Paul Mosse in his studio], 2021, oil on canvas

Vera Klute (Kilkenny), Self-Portrait, 2020, oil on plywood

Gavin Leane (Dublin), Several Days Hence, 2022, photograph

Emily McGardle (Monaghan), Rictus, 2022, pencil and pen on paper

Fiach McGuinne (Dublin), MacDara, 2022, oil and acrylic on canvas

Tom McLean (Galway), Cocoon, 2022, oil on linen

Mick O’Dea (Dublin), At Dysert O’Dea, 2020, oil on canvas

Liz Purtill (Kerry), Dermot, 2022, egg tempera on aluminium panel

Cara Rose (Dublin), Double Self Portrait, 2021, coloured pencil on paper

Sorcha Frances Ryder (Dublin), My Bedroom As A Depressed College Graduate (Self-portrait), 2022, photograph

Marie Smith, (Cavan) Stephanie, 2022, fired clay on wooden stand

Marc O’Sullivan Vallig (Cork), Alex, 2021, oil on canvas

Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2022: The 20 shortlisted artists

Katie Cashin (Clare), My friend Olivia, clay, bottle, paint, marbles, wool, beads

Zara Craig (Antrim), Study by Candlelight, oil on canvas

Páidí Daly (Meath), Me and My Daddy, paint on canvas

Cassandra Dennehy (Dublin), My Favourite Coat and Hat, acrylic paint on paper

PJ Doherty (Donegal), Focus, coloured pencils on paper

Sean Fitzpatrick (Wexford), Constructing Ella, pencil and charcoals on paper

Haochen Gao (Dublin), I Like Balls, oil pastels on canvas

Viktoria Kroejeva (Clare), Day Out, oil and acrylic paint on canvas

James Cowley Lane (Meath), Macdara, Macdara, plaster powder, clay

Jiayi Lu (Dublin), Sunny Morning, pencil and acrylic on paper

Ross McHale (Kildare), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, oil on canvas

Red Redican (Kildare), Bailey’s Life Is a Highway, watercolour paint and pen on paper

Cathal Ryan (Clare), Bullman, acrylic paint on card

Róisín Ryan (Cork), Me in the Stars, marker on paper

Meilin Ava Song (Dublin), New Beginning, paint on canvas

Aoife Sweeney (Clare), Pastel Sky, acrylic paint on card

Pierre Gaultier Swords (Cavan), Self-Portrait of Pierre, oil pastels and markers on paper

Freya Wilkinson (Meath), Self-Portrait, oil on paper

Grace Yu (Dublin), My Mum, pencil on paper

Yujin Zhu (Dublin), Fred, colouring pencils on paper