28 September 2012

Australian Diamond Jubilee Portrait

A Diamond Jubilee portrait of the Queen was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, Australia. The portrait by Australian artist Ralph Heimans is entitled "The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II".
This is breathtaking. The choice to paint her in her robe but without a crown on the spot she was crowned is genius: it allows her to have this humble and pensive look, as though she's looking back on the 60 years since and forward to the next all at once. What an impressive work, made all the more impressive when you learn that the artist had just one hour with the Queen total, and that one hour was in daylight at Buckingham Palace. A truly stunning and powerful portrait.

(And, since we are a jewel blog, I must note that he's managed to bring a tremendous amount of light to the diamonds, which is no easy feat.)

I like the above video as it gives you a sense of the scale of the work; click here for an article with more information on the painting and click here to see it close up at the artist's site.