Andy Warhol - Queen Elizabeth Portrait Exhibition: Andy Warhol's Intentions Undermined?

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The Royal Collection have acquired four Andy Warhol prints, depicting the Queen of England. The screenprints were part of Warhol’s Royal Edition series, which also featured Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Queen Ntombi Twala of Swaziland but the Royal Collection have separated these images of Queen Elizabeth from her royal compadres, so that they can be included in an exhibition entitled The Queen: Portraits of a Monarch, The Guardian reports.

The exhibition is being held at Windsor Castle, to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee and will open on November 23. Warhol once said “I want to be as famous as the Queen of England.” Though he may not have achieved that status, he will at least have the honour of having his work included in this celebratory display, which will feature “a selection of commissioned and formal portraits that highlight the many ways the Queen has been represented in different media throughout her reign.” The screenprints are based on a 1975 photograph of the Queen, taken by Reading-based photographer Peter Grugeon and are sprinkled with fine particles of crushed glass, which “sparkle in the light like diamonds.”

According to The Telegraph, these prints are worth around £150,000 and as such, are at the lower end of the price range for a piece of Andy Warhol art. Warhol’s intention, though, was that the images be shown alongside the three other Queens, so that the viewer could examine their own relationship with each monarch. They have made a conservative choice in selecting a lower-priced exhibition piece but have they undermined Warhols’ true intentions?


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