New Official Portrait of Queen Elizabeth Unveiled
A new portrait of the Queen to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee has been unveiled in Australia. Painted by Australian-born artist Ralph Heimans, it depicts the Queen in the Sacrarium of Westminster Abbey.
The magnificent artwork shows the Queen in a moment of solitary reflection at the centre circle of the Cosmati pavement, exactly where she was crowned over 60 years ago. The Cosmati pavement is the spot ever English monarch has been crowned since it was commissioned by Henry III in the 13th century.
The painting, which is the only official portrait of Her Majesty in her Diamond Jubilee year, was unveiled on Friday by the Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce. It depicts the Monarch in full regalia, including robes and her coronation jewellery, amid the grand architecture of Westminster Abbey. Entitled The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, it is part of a new display marking the Diamond Jubilee.
Mr Heimans gave explained what he tried to achieve through the portrait: “Through the narrative of the portrait I wanted to produce a work of particular significance for the Diamond Jubilee. By representing the Queen as she reflects on this incredible milestone in her life, I wanted to explore the dynamic between her public role and the personal, emotional dimension. ”
“I hope there is a degree of humanity uncommon in traditional Royal portraits. I wanted her expression to be open to interpretation so that people could imagine what she was thinking at that moment, but I think there is a sense of tenderness and soulfulness, as well as nostalgia and contemplation. But there is also a suggestion of her inner strength. She has an extraordinary aura and a real energy and presence.” He added that he was inspired by Westminster Abbey itself: “The setting of Westminster Abbey is the most aesthetically spectacular an artist could ever choose. That inspired me.”Filed under The United Kingdom
Tagged Australia, Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, Portraits.