New Portrait Competition

A unique opportunity for 8-11 year olds to showcase their artwork in the Linnean Society of London

Linnaeus' New Portrait Competition

This Competition is now CLOSED

We are inviting 8-11 year olds to create a new 21st Century portrait of Carl Linnaeus to be hung in the Linnean Society of London. The winning portrait will hang on the stairwell going down towards our special Collection Store and Discovery Room.

Did you know it was at a Meeting of the Linnean Society that Darwin and Wallace's 'Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection' was presented for the first time?

The Original Portrait of Linnaeus

This is the original portrait of Linnaeus that currently hangs in our Meeting Room.

Most portraits of Linnaeus show him with his flower, Linnaea borealis, and with his most important book, Systema Naturae (which means ‘the systems of nature' in Latin). What makes him so important today is that he devised the way of naming plants and animals that we still use today, including the scientific name for man – Homo sapiens.

We are looking for a special piece of art that captures the essence of Linnaeus (watch our videos and read more about him to inspire your art). Importantly, we want to see a new, modern version of Linnaeus - what would he look like if he were alive today? What would he wear? What would his interests be?

The end product must be flat, in a standard paper size (minimum A4) and portrait (i.e. not landscape). You can be as inventive as you like - digital art, collages, drawings, paintings... anything! You could even take a photo of a 3D object and enter that, although we cannot accept video format.

The winner will be picked by an panel of judges and announced on Monday 2nd December at our Founder's Day event. Other finalists will also receive a prize and/or a certificate.

The winning artwork will be resized and hung until the next year's competition.

Terms and Conditions

  1. The closing date for entries is 15th November 2019.
  2. Entrants must be aged between 8 and 11 years old at the time of submission.
  3. The entry should be flat, portrait (i.e. not landscape) and a standard paper dimension, minimum A4 (21x29.7cm).
  4. The entry can be submitted electronically as an image file or PDF by emailing, or it can be posted to 'Education Manager, The Linnean Society of London, London, W1J 0BF'. Please include the young person's name, age at time of submission and the city where they live. The image supplied must be clear and in a high resolution. Please note, entries can not be returned.
  5. Entrants can be from anywhere, i.e. not limited to the UK.
  6. Submissions must be the entrants' own work, do not enter copyrighted art. Copyright infringement will be breached by the people who submit the work.
  7. Finalists/winners may be requested to send their artwork to the Linnean Society - costs will be reimbursed.
  8. The Linnean Society will not retain artworks beyond 1st January 2020 and will remove all data related to entrants and submissions after this date, unless otherwise approved.
  9. No cash or alternative prize is available.
  10. Entries will not be accepted from employees of Linnean Society and their immediate families.
  11. The overall winner will receive an arts kit and their artwork will be resized and framed in the Linnean Society for up to a year, after which it will become an archived part of the Linnean Society's history. All shortlisted participants will receive a certificate.
  12. The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the competition.
  13. Entry into the competition will be deemed to constitute acceptance of these terms and conditions.