The Carlsberg Foundation’s Portrait Award is awarded to the winners of the nordic portrait competition, which is organised by The Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle.

Guidelines for the competition

The aim of the competition is bringing greater interest of the portrait as a genre amongst artists and the general public. The competition applies to artists in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Greenland, The Faroe Islands, Iceland, and The Åland Islands.

An international jury selects the winners of the competition as well as the artworks that will be included in the exhibition.

The selection of portraits for the exhibition will take place in two phases: A preselection will be made by the jury based on the photos uploaded by artist upon registration. The preselected artwork will be handed in to The Museum of National History at Frederiksborg, where the final selection for the exhibition Portrait NOW! 2021 will take place.

The exhibition will be displayed at The Museum of National History at Frederiksborg from May to August 2021.


’The portrait’ is understood as a reproduction of a person. It need not be naturalistic, but should, however, seek to characterize the person as an individual. The medium used for this reproduction is at the discretion of the artist. The artwork must be based on at least one face to face session with the portrayed.

Each artist can submit one portrait to the competition. The portrait can compromise of a series of works if the series has one theme and as long as the series in total does not exceed the limits given below. Use plexiglass instead of regular glass in case of framing. Video works must be submitted on a disc (DVD/CD), and are limited to file formats that can be read by standard computer software.


Portraits submitted to Portrait NOW! 2021 must not exceed the following restrictions:

  • The combined size of two-dimensional artwork must not exceed 2.0 x 2.0 x 0.25 meters; for three-dimensional artwork 1.0 x 1.0 x 1.75 meters.
  • Artwork exceeding 50 kg will not be accepted.
  • Artwork made from short-lived organic materials will not be considered.
  • Date of artwork creation predating 1st of January 2019 will not be considered.
  • Employees at The Museum of National History at Frederiksborg cannot enter the competition.


Upon completing the registration, the artwork is given a unique ID-number, which you will receive by email. The ID-numbers must be retained by the artist and will be used as a reference. In the selection process, the same ID-number will follow the artwork as the artist’s name is kept anonymous to the jury members.