Wanderings with Wallace - the winner of our 2023 portrait competition

Find out about the winner of our 2023 New Portrait Competition

Published on 15th April 2024

Last year we invited young people from around the world to join our new portrait competition. The theme? Wanderings with Wallace – in recognition of celebrating Alfred Russel Wallace’s 200th birthday!

Alfred Wallace’s portrait has pride of place in our meeting room, next to his good – and perhaps betterrecognised – friend, Charles Darwin. He was a scientist and explorer who independently came up with the theory of evolution, prompting Charles to publish his! Their joint paper on evolution was read at the Linnean Society in 1858. Over the course of his life he made several adventurous trips to South America and the Malay Archipelago, where he collected all sorts of flora and fauna – over 126,000 specimens from the latter!

We wanted to see what kind of adventures you might get up too. What would you like to explore and discover? We received plenty of wonderful entries using all kinds of varied materials and exploring all sorts of exciting places! Surrounded by butterflies, rock pooling on the coast and trekking through the Amazon Rainforest to name but a few.

Our 2023 Winner: Sienna, age 11, London

Our winner was Sienna from North London. She painted a beautiful self-portrait using lots of bright colours, swimming in the sea surrounded by fish, turtles, and all sorts of exciting marine life!

My picture is inspired by the times that I have been snorkelling in Malta. I enjoyed exploring under water - it feels like a different world and you don't know what you're going to see. I have painted some of the creatures that I have seen and some that I'd like to see.

Sienna, age 11

Many thanks to all the young people who entered our 2023 competitions, and particular congratulations to Sienna and all those who were short listed!

Find out more about Linnean Learning and our future events and competitions by signing up to our newsletter, Linnean Learning Update.

For further information about the competition, or any of our other programmes, email learning@linnean.org