J.K. Rowling and Ian McKellen feature in Hull portrait exhibition

J.K. Rowling, Ian McKellen and Kelly Holmes Image copyright Stuart Pearson Wright/Clive Smith/Craig Wylie
Image caption Portraits of author J.K. Rowling, actor Ian McKellen and athlete Kelly Holmes all feature in the exhibition

A collection of portraits depicting a host of household names is set to open in Hull as part of its city of culture celebrations.

The National Portrait Gallery commissions feature people from the worlds of culture, politics, sport and fashion, including Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Paul Smith and Dame Kelly Holmes.

The works were all commissioned as part of the BP Portrait Award first prize.

'Paul Smith to J.K. Rowling' opens at the University of Hull on Wednesday.

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Image copyright Justin Mortimer
Image caption Dramatist Harold Pinter's portrait was painted in 1992 by Justin Mortimer

First prize winners of the BP Portrait Award are invited to create a portrait of a public figure who has made an important contribution to British history and culture.

The National Portrait Gallery said it was a "rare opportunity" to see all the commissions in one place.

Image copyright James Hague/Andrew Tift/Ishbel Myerscough
Image caption Actors Michael Caine and Helen Mirren and politician Ken Livingstone were also depicted as part of the National Portrait Gallery commissions

Professor Glenn Burgess, acting vice-chancellor of the University of Hull, said: "Not only does the exhibition depict a wonderful range of famous faces, from actors to athletes and beyond, but the artists responsible have used an amazing variety of styles and compositions in creating these beautiful works."

The free exhibition runs at the Brynmor Jones Library until June.

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