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Wim Heldens wins BP Portrait Award

15th June 2011

Wim Heldens has been named winner of the National Portrait Gallery's annual BP Portrait Award for his work Distracted, which depicts a sitter the Dutch artist has used for almost 20 years.

The winning entry features Jeroen, who Heldens first painted when the subject was seven years old, at the age of 25, standing against a wall with his head turned to the right and a pencil in his right hand.

Heldens, who lives in Amsterdam, said he has been 'fascinated' with painting Jeroen at different stages of his life and described him as 'an intelligent and sensitive young man'.

National Portrait Gallery director Sandy Nairne said the winning portrait is a 'quiet and evocative study' of its subject.

'It is an outstanding work in the midst of a truly diverse field of new portraits,' he added.

Heldens receives a GBP 25,000 prize and follows in the footsteps of Daphne Todd, who won the award last year for Last Portrait of Mother, her depiction of the final moments of her mother's life. 

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