The Holburne Portrait Prize Winner 2008

Home, Press

The Holburne announces the winner of the 2008 Portrait Prize

David Fisher the artist responsible for the striking portrait “Dead Man Posing” has won the £5,000 commission to paint a portrait for the Holburne’s collection.

Mr Fisher’s painting was selected by a distinguished panel of judges who were unanimous in their decision. Humphrey Ocean, Victoria Glendinning and John Leighton all overwhelmingly agreed that the portrait had succeeded in convincing the viewer that the sitter was someone with whom they had a personal connection.

The judges felt that the portrait of Philip Ledbury was ambitious and successful in both scale (five feet by three feet) and composition and had no hesitation in awarding the prize to the Bath-based artist.

Alexander Sturgis, Director of the Holburne notes: “I am very happy that the panel chose David Fisher’s portrait as the winner of the Holburne Portrait prize. It has a wonderfully strong and warm presence and gives one a real sense of knowing the person it depicts.

It was an even greater pleasure to meet Philip Ledbury on the evening of the prize (complete with shirt, tie and mug) to be in the presence of the painting made flesh. We look forward to working with David on his commission for the Holburne’s collection.”

Of his portrait David Fisher notes: “My most successful paintings have been when the subject has inspired me and that I have felt passionate about. None more so than “Dead Man Posing.

Philip Ledbury has only recently come into my life through art, a man diagnosed three years ago with leukaemia, his passion for life is inspiring. His desire to live life to the full_____’quality not quantity’_____ is a favourite saying of his, plus the wicked sense of humour he has, were enough to create the urge to paint his portrait and, I hope, in turn make a fitting record of the man.”

In addition to the Prize commission two other winners were announced. The winner of the People’s Choice online vote with the Bath Chronicle was Katy Sullivan for “Calm” and the gallery winner of the People’s Choice was Sue Burns for her portrait of her son, Joe.

The Holburne’s fourth portrait competition for artists in the South West runs until Tuesday 28 October at Chapel Row Gallery, Bath.

See exhibition news for images… more


The Holburne Museum
One of the country’s great small museums, The Holburne has a wonderfully rich collection of paintings, silver, sculpture, furniture and porcelain, with important works by Gainsborough, Stubbs and Turner. Housed in the 18th century Sydney Hotel and set within the park of Sydney Gardens, it is Bath’s most beautiful museum.

The Museum has closed to undertake a major redevelopment that will see its existing home restored, refurbished and extended through a striking extension designed by Eric Parry Architects. The development will make the Museum fully accessible to all for the first time, create a purpose designed education space and allow more of the collection to be displayed than ever before. The renewed Holburne is scheduled to reopen in autumn 2010. The Holburne Museum is a registered charity (no. 310288). The development is supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (

Media Partner: The Bath Chronicle

The Holburne Portrait Prize Exhibition
Chapel Row Gallery
6 Chapel Row, off Queen Square
Bath BA1 1HN
Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm / Sunday 12noon to 4pm
Admission FREE

For further information please contact: Katie Jenkins
E: T:

Published on: 20/10/2008