Their works were chosen out of 2,580 entries from 87 countries.
Unlike more varied shortlists from previous years – in 2014 Thomas Ganter won with Man with a Plaid Blanket, a portrait of a homeless man, while 2013’s winner was Susanne du Toit’s portait of her son, Pieter – this year’s selection sees a return of the female sitter in portraiture.
The shortlist was selected by a panel including Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark and artist Michael Landy.
Double Portrait by Ehretsmann, a French painter and illustrator, depicts his wife Caroline during pregnancy.
Sullivan’s subject for Breech! is also his wife, Virginia, who he depicts breastfeeding their young daughter.
Williams has captured model and friend Emma Bruce in the eponymously titled painting, Emma.
The winner of this year’s £30,000 first prize will be announced on Tuesday 20 June 2017 at a ceremony prior to the opening of the award exhibition. There will also be a second prize of £10,000, third prize of £8,000, and the BP Young Artist Award of £7,000.
The BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition will be at the National Portrait Gallery, London from Thursday 22 June to Sunday 24 September 2017
1. Thomas Ehretsmann, Double Portrait, November 2016. © Thomas Ehretsmann. Courtesy: National Portrait Gallery
2. Antony Williams, Emma, March 2016. © Antony Williams. Courtesy: National Portrait Gallery
3. Benjamin Sullivan, Breech!, January 2017. © Benjamin Sullivan. Courtesy: National Portrait Gallery