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The Queen: Art and Image

The Queen: Art and Image


Pub. date: 11th June 2011
Price: £30
ISBN: 978 1 85514 412 5
Format: 280 x 220mm
Extent: 176 pages
Illustrations: 100
Binding: Hardback
Venue Exclusive Paperback: £20
ISBN: 978 1 85514 444 6
Category: Photography / Fine Art / History / Reference
Word count: 20,000

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Out of print

Paul Moorhouse with an essay by David Cannadine
A ground-breaking survey of portraits of Queen Elizabeth II with iconic representations from 1952 to the present day. Published to coincide with the Diamond Jubilee, the book contains fascinating analysis of the Queen as both a cultural and artistic icon, with work by Pietro Annigoni, Cecil Beaton, Annie Leibovitz, Gerhard Richter and Andy Warhol.


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, this book presents 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 the diverse and multi-faceted 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 sections 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 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).

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