Honorary Retired Member


Artist Statement

Although Daphne Todd is best known for her portraits, having become the first woman President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, her work also covers a wide range of genres, including still life and landscapes inspired by the beautiful Kent and Sussex borders where she lives.

Method of Working

Always working directly in front of her subject she misses nothing, and the eminent gathering of her past sitters—including HRH the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Dame Janet Baker, Christopher Ondaatje and Spike Milligan—have found it difficult to hide from her analytical gaze. Her sitters tell of her careful placement of brushstrokes. Fine and deliberate her brush glides deftly across the fine birch panels on which she customarily paints, but the beautiful control of the surface often belies other tensions in the work. Through her teaching at Heatherley’s Art School and her Presidency of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Daphne Todd has been an important force in promoting representational art in Britain.

Biographical Details

1994-2000 President, Royal Society of Portrait Painters (first female President)
1980-86 Director of Studies, Heatherley School of Fine Art
1985  Elected Member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters
1984 Elected Member of the New English Art Club  
1977 Returns to London
1975-77 Lives near Barcelona; Drives to London each spring with landscapes for the RA
1965-71 The Slade School of Art, London (undergraduate and postgraduate)

Society Memberships

Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) 

Scholarships, Prizes & Awards

2007 Finalist, BP Portrait Award 
2004 Honorary Liveryman, Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers
2002 Awarded OBE in New Year’s Honours
2001 Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture and Gold Medal 
1984 First Prize: Oil Painting of the Year, Hunting Group National Art Competition 
Special Commendation, John Player Award, National Portrait Gallery, GLC Prize, Spirit of London Exhibition, Royal Festival Hall
1983 Second Prize, John Player Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery
Commendation, Spirit of London Exhibition, Festival Hall 
1980/82 Finalist, Hunting Group National Art Competition 
1969 British Institute Award for Figurative Painting; First painting exhibited at The Royal Academy

Past Exhibitions

2001/04/07 Solo Exhibitions, Messum’s, Cork Street, London
2003 ‘The View: an exhibition about Richmond Hill’ 
2001-2 ‘Mirror, Mirror: Self Portraits by Women Artists’, National Portrait Gallery


The New English (represented in, 2006) by Kenneth McConkey, ISBN: 1903973988
Daphne Todd (4 Apr 2008) by Jenny Pery, ISBN-10: 1905883277