Entertainment & Arts

Queen paintings reunited at National Portrait Gallery

Artist Pietro Annigoni's 1954-5 portrait of the Queen (left) will go on show with his portrait from 1969
Image caption Artist Pietro Annigoni's 1954-5 portrait of the Queen (left) will go on show with his portrait from 1969

A pair of Royal portraits are to be seen together for the first time in more than a quarter of a century to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee .

The works by Italian portrait painter Pietro Annigoni will go on display in an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The Queen: Art and Image will showcase 60 portraits from across 60 years.

The exhibition includes works by artists Lucian Freud, Andy Warhol and Annie Leibovitz.

One Annigoni work, from 1954-5, is being seen for the first time in 28 years and will be displayed on the same wall as Annigoni's full-length portrait of the Queen from 1969.

It is only the second time the paintings have been shown together.

Annigoni's Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Regent painting was first shown at the Royal Academy in 1955 and has only been loaned twice, in 1958 and 1986, by its owners The Fishmongers' Company.

The oil painting shows the then recently-crowned, 28-year-old Elizabeth wearing Garter robes seen against a pastoral landscape.

"The Queen is the most represented individual in history - but she remains an enigma," said exhibition curator Paul Moorhouse.

"All we really have are images," he added.

Image caption The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh sat for Thomas Struth in 2011

"This exhibition explores the creation of the Queen's public persona and the way such images reveals a world of changing ideas and values."

Other artists whose work will be on show include Gilbert and George and Lord Snowdon.

The display is a combination of traditional portraits and contemporary images with newspaper photographs, film footage, postage stamps and satirical material.

It features for the first time in London the photographic portrait taken in 2011 of The Queen and Prince Philip seated together at Windsor Castle.

The photograph, taken in the castle's green drawing room by the German photographer Thomas Struth, was commissioned by the NPG to mark the Jubilee and to launch the exhibition.

The exhibition has been on a UK tour visiting Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff and opens in London on 17 May. It will run until 21 October 2012.

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