Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II
by Pietro Annigoni
tempera grassa on paper on panel, 1969
78 in. x 70 in. (1981 mm x 1778 mm)
Given by Sir Hugh Leggatt, 1970
Artistback to top
- Pietro Annigoni (1910-1988), Painter. Artist of 3 portraits, Sitter in 32 portraits.
This portraitback to top
The trustees of the National Portrait Gallery commissioned the Italian artist Pietro Annigoni to paint a new portrait of the Queen in 1969. The Queen herself had expressed a preference for the artist who had painted her once before in 1954; two years after her coronation. Annigoni's second portrait, paid for by the art dealer Sir Hugh Leggatt, took 10 months and 18 sittings to complete. This stark and monumental composition proved to be a startling contrast to Annigoni's earlier portrait of the young queen, which was glamorous and romantic. He explained his changed approach: 'I did not want to paint her as a film star; I saw her as a monarch, alone in the problems of her responsibility'. The unveiling of the portrait in 1970 generated enormous press and public interest.
Related worksback to top
Linked publicationsback to top
- Gittings, Clare, Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I: An Educational Resource Pack, 2003
- Moorhouse, Paul and Cannadine, David (appreciation), The Queen: Art and Image, 2011 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 17 May to 21 October 2012), p. 91
- Rogers, Malcolm, Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, 1993 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 August to 23 October 1994), p. 188
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 202
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
Events of 1969back to top
Current affairsThe Open University is established, based on the vision of Michael Young. Its aims were to offer the chance to study for higher education qualifications on a part time and distance learning basis, giving people who were unable to attend a traditional university because of family, work commitments or disability the opportunity to achieve university degrees.
Art and scienceThe comedy sketch show Monty Python's Flying Circus is first broadcast. The Pythons performed surreal sketches that reinvented the comedy tradition, eschewing punch lines for a stream-of-consciousness structure and incongruous authorial interventions: 'and now for something completely different'.
Kenneth Tynan's Oh! Calcutta amuses and shocks audiences with full nudity on stage, taking advantage of the recent end to censorship laws.
InternationalNeil Armstrong takes 'one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind' when he becomes the first man on the moon.
Concorde makes its first supersonic flight. The plane was designed, developed and manufactured by a joint treaty between the French and English governments.
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On display in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery
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