The Queen: Art and Image

National Portrait Gallery – 17 May – 21 October 2012

Lightness of Being by Chris Levine
2012 marks the Diamond Jubilee of the reign of Her Majesty, The Queen. And to celebrate the occasion, the National Gallery is organising a unique touring exhibition which will showcase 60 of her most iconic images, some of which will be on public display for the first time.

The exhibition starts with the National Gallery Complex in Edinburgh in June, followed by the Ulster Museum in Belfast, the National Museum in Cardiff and finally ending up at the National Portrait Gallery in London in May of next year (2012). On show will be a
wide selection of mixed media images; official portraits, photographs and media pictures, including a significant selection of unofficial portraits of the British Monarch by some of the 20th century’s most important artists. From Beaton and Leibovitz to Annigoni and Warhol, The Queen: Art and Image will be the most wide-ranging exhibition of images in different media devoted to a single royal sitter.

NPG: Queen Elizabeth II by Dorothy Wilding
Collectively, the exhibition celebrates and explores the startling range of artistic creativity and media-derived imagery that The Queen has inspired. It also probes the relation of this imagery to a world of changing values during a reign that has engaged the attention of millions. Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, says: “The Queen is the most portrayed person in British history, reflecting her long reign and also the respect and affection which is felt towards her. The Diamond Jubilee is a wonderful celebration and the National Portrait Gallery is very pleased to be sharing this exhibition with our other national partners in Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff.” The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue featuring over 60 portraits, with essays by historian and writer Sir David Cannadine and curator Paul Moorhouse. Published by the National Portrait Gallery, London, priced £30 (hardback). Available June 2011.

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