New Portrait Competition

Every year we invite young people to create a new portrait that Carl Linnaeus would really like. Here are the winners for this year.


This year, Linnaeus asked for a new portrait of his furry friend, Sjupp.

Carl Linnaeus was given a raccoon by the Crown Prince of Sweden. He called his new friend 'Sjupp' - pronounced 'shoop'. You can watch a video about Sjupp here.

We received entries from young people from 5-18-years-old from countries across the world. All participants will receive a digital certificate for entering their work, and the winners listed below will receive physical certificates and small prizes sent in the post. The four main winners will have their artwork resized and displayed in our building for a minimum of 2 months each.

The winners and runners up were selected by the Linnean Society's staff, curators and volunteers. We are very grateful for their time.
We have awarded a winner and two runners up in four age categories which are listed below.

Thank you for taking part and we will be back with a new portrait request from Linnaeus in mid-2021!

5-7 Years Old

WINNER: Emily, 7, Edinburgh
WINNER: Emily, 7, Edinburgh

Congratulations to 7-year-old-Emily from Edinburgh who created this wonderful painting of Sjupp. Emily has shown a masterful use of her tools, applying impactful shading and use of light, as well as an effective use of bold background colours. You can see the brushstrokes uses on Sjupp's fur which gives the painting dimension and depth. An amazing winner for our youngest category.

We also have two runners up, shown below, from Nandini (5) and Saphina (6) who will receive prizes too.

RUNNER UP: Nandini, 5, Chennai
RUNNER UP: Saphina, 6, Calgary

8-11 Years Old

WINNER: Imogen, 11, Cambridge

Congratulations to 11-year-old-Imogen from Cambridge for this iteration of Sjupp. There is so much to love about this artwork - the weather is warm and bright and Sjupp is lying lazily high up a tree on a thick branch with long paws dangling below. This piece of art creates a wonderful scene that we can all relate to, and that is not even to mention Imogen's fantastic shading and delicate line-work on Sjupp and the tree, while leaving the background relatively untextured, which acts to sharpen the focus on the subject.

We also have two great runners up, shown below, from Hermione (10) and Abigail (11), who will receive prizes too. They produced dramatically different pieces of work, but both showcase heaps of creativity and an exploration of different media.

A special mention must also go to Adam, the brother of Emily who won the youngest category above. Adam will receive a small prize as a commendation for his artwork.

RUNNER UP: Hermione, 10, Wensleydale
RUNNER UP: Abigail, 11, Northampton

12-14 Years Old

WINNER: Carys, 12, Winchester, Massachusetts, USA

Congratulations to 12-year-old-Carys from Winchester, Massachusetts. This artwork was a real favourite for our judges. One judge said, "I prefer to see all the animal especially the tail, but this eye catching portrait is so well drawn and it even has the almonds!". Carys has a shown skillful application of shading and reflections to create a really realistic image of Sjupp, and her positioning of Sjupp peering over a ledge to grab some fruit adds depth and playfulness which can be difficult to achieve in portraits.

We also have three runners up, shown below, from Arya (12), Holly (12) and Shreyanshi (14), who will receive prizes too. These portraits of Sjupp all offer a quiet but striking perspective of Sjupp as a calm, friendly and curious personality.

RUNNER UP: Arya, 12, Slough
RUNNER UP: Holly, 12, Stevenage
RUNNER UP: Shreyanshi, 14, Reading

15-18 Years Old

WINNER: Saanvi. 15, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Congratulations to 15-year-old-Saanvi from Kanpur in India who created this masterful illustration of Sjupp in an eccentric costume, arguably in the style of the director Wes Anderson. Sjupp is positioned dead-center with a soft, natural backdrop, and Sjupp is adorned with intentional details added to clothing, fur and in reflections. We spotted the Linnaeus family crest on Sjupp's breast pocket, which was an excellent touch.

We also have one runner up, shown below, from Rachel (18), who will receive a prize too. Rachel used bold block-colours and textile patterns make a really joyful image which wouldn't seem out of place in a chldren's book.

very imaginative

RUNNER UP: Rachel, 18, Gosport