Hundreds of painted and photographic images exist of Queen Elizabeth II. Throughout her reign, she has inspired photographers and painters not only to embrace tradition but also to extend the genre of royal portraiture. To coincide with her Diamond Jubilee, The Queen: Art & Image represents portraits and images that collectively chart the changing portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II and the different ways in which her image has been appropriated and manipulated by artists as well as the mass media.
Over the last sixty years, the Queen's image has provided a fruitful and evocative area for investigation by a range of contemporary artists. Author Paul Moorhouse explores the complex evolution of these representations. Beginning with formal royal portraits, he probes the dialogue between traditional portraiture and a progressive informality in the mass media. He shows how this interaction has produced a new iconography that has profoundly influenced the modern perception of monarchy. Setting these developments within a wider social context, he demonstrates that her diverse and multifaceted artworks illustrated in the book provide not only a lens through which her reign may be viewed, but also evoke a wider artistic, social and historical context.
With section related to each decade of the Queen's reign, and an illuminating essay exploring the reign and jubilees of Queen Elizabeth II by David Cannadine, this inspirational book sheds new light on the changing face of modern royalty.
Paul Moorhouse is a Curator of Twentieth Century Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery. Publications include Bridget Riley: From Life (2010), Gerhard Richter Portraits: Painting Appearances (2009) and Pop Art Portraits (2007).
Sir David Cannadine is Chairman of the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery. He is an award-winning historian whose publications include The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy (1990) and Andrew Mellon: An American Life (2006).