The Burke’s Peerage Foundation Award for classically inspired portraiture has been won this year by Richard Foster for his painting entitled Trinity House.
The work celebrates the 500th anniversary of Trinity House, a charity dedicated to looking after the well-being of seafarers.
In its second year, the annual award was launched by Burke’s owner William Bortrick.
He set up the foundation to encourage people to take a greater interest in genealogy and created the award in honour of Burke’s founder – John Burke – a patron of portraiture.
Presenting the award and cheque to the artist was Lady Elizabeth Anson, the only other living chairman of Burke’s.
In the middle of Mr Foster’s painting is the Duke of Edinburgh who is talking to Admiral Sir Jock Slater, while nearby Princess Anne chats to a former admiral of the fleet and the last captain of the QEII.
There are 35 people in the picture that Mr Foster painted after Julian Barrow, the original commissioned artist, died during the preliminary research.
Mr Bortrick said: “I think the painting is a wonderful conversation piece in the older style of portrait painting.
“Paintings are submitted to the Royal Society of Portrait Painters who have a rigorous process before accepting them.
“I went along with my colleague Mark Ayre, who set up the foundation with me, and we looked at all the submissions.
“Much like last year, we both selected the same one and we were judging on what best fitted the criteria of ‘classically-inspired’.
“It happens to fit in very well with Burke’s, which is all about people, families and relationships.
“And it was also a contrast to last year’s winner ‘Shubha’ by Miriam Escofet.
“In the painting are more than 30 portraits and the artist explained that he had been in the room portrayed, taking photos and making sketches before going away and painting them individually.”
Burke’s Peerage Foundation was established in January 2014 on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir John Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms.
Mr Bortrick said that he intends to produce a new Burke’s publication: Royal Families of Europe.
For more information contact Ed Baker at Deep South Media on 01202 534487 or 07788392965