The Queen: Art and Image
To mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, The Queen: Art and Image brings together 60 of the most striking and resonant images of Elizabeth II, spanning her reign.
From Cecil Beaton and Annie Leibovitz to Lucian Freud and Andy Warhol, it celebrates and explores the startling range of artistic creativity and media-derived imagery that The Queen has inspired.
Documenting the changing nature of representations of the Monarch, the exhibition shows how images serve as a lens through which to view shifting perceptions of royalty, during a reign that has engaged the attention of millions.
Attitudes to Queen Elizabeth II in Wales are diverse and deeply rooted in Welsh political history. From celebration to protests, this display takes a look at the relationship between the Queen and Wales over the last 60 years.
Film, archives, photographs and objects capture feelings and attitudes towards the Queen on two royal visits to Aberystwyth, one in 1955, the other in 1996.
Special interviews about the Queen's relationship with Wales will also be shown, featuring Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, Media Wales' Arts Editor Karen Price, and Adam Phillips from Balchder Cymru (Pride of Wales).
Reflecting changes in the social scene and historical context, the exhibition highlights important developments and events, from The Queen’s relationship with the press and the miners’ strike, to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the advent of new technology.
Formal painted portraits, official photographs, media pictures and powerful responses by contemporary artists form a series of traditional representations and works which extend the visual language of royal portraiture. These are supplemented by archival material from newspapers to film footage, postage stamps to consumer ephemera.
Among the highlights are Annigoni’s hugely popular life-size 1969 commission for the National Portrait Gallery, Lucian Freud’s 2000-01 portrait from the Royal Collection, and Justin Mortimer’s painting where The Queen’s head floats away from her body against a huge background of flat vibrant yellow.
Among the exhibited photographers for whom The Queen sat are Annie Leibovitz, Dorothy Wilding and Cecil Beaton - including his iconic Westminster Abbey Coronation image - and Chris Levine’s highly unusual photograph from 2004 (right) of The Queen with her eyes closed.
The Queen: Art and Image also includes a significant selection of unofficial portraits of the British monarch from major 20th century artists such as Gilbert and George, Andy Warhol and Gerhard Richter, as well as less formal portraits by such photographers as Eve Arnold, Patrick Lichfield and Lord Snowdon.
This touring exhibition has been organised by the National Portrait Gallery.