Yvette Coppersmith's self portrait has won the 2018 Archibald Prize.

Vincent Namatjira, the grandson of Albert Namatjira, was high commended in Australia's best known portrait prize established in 1921 and worth $100,000.

Yvette Coppersmith has won the 2018 Archibald Prize with 'Self-portrait, after George Lambert' oil and acrylic on linen 132 x 112 cm © the artist

The president of the board of trustees, David Gonski, announced the winning self portrait from among 57 finalists, of which more than half were portraits or self portraits of artists. The decision was unanimous.

Coppersmith's winning portrait was titled Self portrait after George Lambert. Lambert was the winner of the 1927 Archibald Prize and one of Coppersmith's favourite Australian artists. She was a finalist
last year with a portrait of prof Gillian Triggs.

She took an Instagram image of the audience from the stage as "proof" of her win before telling the gathered crowd that her first portrait was a self portrait of her as a school girl looking through the mirror. Many of the artists who inspired her were fellow finalists.


Last week Jamie Preisz accepted the $1500 Packing Room Prize for his portrait of musician Jimmy Barnes posed as a title fighter.

Yvette Coppersmith poses in a studio in Melbourne.

Photo: Martin Philbey

Indigenous artist Tiger Yaltangki's self portrait was withdrawn at his family's request last week before final judging, The Wynne Prize for landscape painting or figure sculpture went to Yukultji Napangati while Kaylene Whiskey won the $40,000 Sulman Prize for subject, genre or mural. Paul Ryan's atmospheric Kembla was highly commended in the Wynne Prize.

Awarded to the best painting of a notable Australian, the Archibald Prize is a whos who of Australian culture, from politicians to celebrities abut it is artists that dominate this year's entries. These must be painted in the past year, from at least one live sitting with the artist.

In 2018 finalists in all three prizes will go on show at the Art Gallery until September 9. Archibald Prize finalists will then go on a regional tour until June 2019.

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Linda Morris

Linda Morris is an arts and books writer for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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