Spanish artist’s portrait of German girl wins major British art prize

A portrait of a pensive German girl, Elfe, has won this year’s £5,000 Brian Botting Prize for an outstanding representation of the human form.

The oil painting by 26-year-old Spanish painter and illustrator Júlia Moscardó, who lives in Cambridge, was praised by the judges for its sensitivity and skill.

Chair of the judges Daphne Todd OBE, leading painter and judge on BBC One’s The Big Painting Challenge, praised Ms Moscardó’s work.

She said: “What came across to the judges most immediately was the sense of mood, reminiscent of early Picasso.

“The artist’s sensitive, almost transparent, touch belies a very sound understanding of how light describes form, the tones being graded not only from light to dark but from hot to cold.

“Just look how the light reflected from the cheek onto the nostril is beautifully observed, providing a delicious warm orange accent!

“Júlia Moscardó shows great potential and we’re thrilled to award her the Brian Botting Prize.”

Júlia Moscardó
Júlia Moscardó

Winning artist Júlia Moscardó said: “This win means a lot to me. It will give me the help and support to keep funding myself and my work. It’s the first major art competition I’ve entered. My subject, Elfe, was a German girl I met during the last year of my degree. I thought she looked quite poetic, quite thoughtful.

“With this win behind me, I want to keep working and keep drawing, moving onto my next project. It’s all about learning more. I love developing characters and seeing where the creative process takes me.”

Júlia Moscardó was born and grew up in Xàtiva, Valencia, Spain. She first came to the UK in 2013 to study at the University of Leeds for nine months before returning in 2015 to take an MA in children’s book illustration at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. She is a graduate in Fine Arts from the Fine Arts Academy of Sant Carles in Valencia.

Júlia’s work is also on display at the Cambridge MA Show and this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

Júlia’s winning painting Elfe will be exhibited at the Mall Galleries from 6–18 March as part of the Lynn Painter-Stainers competition exhibition.

The Brian Botting Prize is one of four prizes that form the competition. The winner of the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, worth £15,000, second prize and the Young Artist Prize worth £4,000 will be announced at the Mall Galleries on Monday 6 March. The People’s Prize of £2,000 will be announced on 31 March.

106 entries from over 1,100 entries have been selected for display. The pictures will be available to buy at the exhibition.

Now in its 12th year, the Lynn Painter-Stainers competition for representational and figurative art – art that seeks to capture the real world – offers total prize money of £30,000. The competition is open to any artist resident in the UK painting or drawing works of representational or figurative art and over 18-years-old.

For the third year running, the competition includes the Brian Botting Prize of £5,000 for an outstanding representation of the human figure by an artist aged 30 or under.

Judges for the 2017 competition were:

  • Daphne Todd OBE PPRP NEAC, artist
  • Ken Howard OBE RA NEAC, artist
  • Professor Andrew Stahl, artist and professor, Slade School of Fine Art
  • Benjamin Sullivan NEAC RP, artist
  • John Martin, director, John Martin Gallery

Created in 2005 by The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers and The Lynn Foundation, the open competition continues to champion the skill of draughtsmanship and figurative painting. The exhibition aims to reflect the breadth of approaches and materials from across the artistic spectrum.

For further details of the exhibition or to vote for a work to win the People’s Prize visit www.lynnpainterstainersprize.org.uk.


(from a press release)