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Sanlam Portrait Award

We celebrate South Africa’s top artists with a biennial competition, the only one of its kind in South Africa.

While South African art reflects our country’s social and political evolution, our clients’ passion and investment interest in art is also growing. This is why we established the Sanlam Portrait Award in partnership with Rust-en-Vrede art gallery.

This competition celebrates and showcases the best original portrait artwork in South Africa. It gives top local artists the opportunity to get invaluable exposure – the top 40 entries are displayed at an exhibition – and the winner walks away with R100 000.

Heather Gourlay-Conyngham

The 2017 Winner

Cape Town artist Kate Arthur has won the 2017 Sanlam Portrait Award for her portrait entitled Genna & Felix (79.5 x 119.5cm, oil on canvas). Arthur’s winning portrait beat 1 436 other entries to the top prize.

Arthur obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Rhodes University in 2007 and works predominantly in mediums of painting, drawing and printmaking. She is interested in portraiture, identity and representations of the body, and has participated in a number of group shows and art fairs around South Africa. Arthur was a finalist in the 2015 Sanlam Portrait Award.

View the top 40 entries, including the winning portrait


Peter Mookman

Peter Monkman

Peter is an established artist who has won several awards, including the BP Portrait Award and the Threadneedle Prize. He is a regular contest judge, including the BP Portrait Award (2015).

Carl Jeppe

Carl Jeppe

Carl has participated in over 80 exhibitions. He has served on the judging panels for several competitions, including Absa Atelier. He has also done several high-profile portrait commissions.

Nkule Mabaso

Nkule Mabaso

Nkule founded the Newcastle Creative Network in KZN, and is the curator at Michaelis Galleries, UCT. She has exhibited her own work in both solo and group exhibitions in several countries.

Art Advisory Service

We offer independent, expert advice on fine art as an investment. Art as an investment provides a natural hedge against inflation as a growth asset in its own right.

Sanlam Life Insurance is a licensed financial service provider.
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