Sotheby's Royal Portraiture & Iconography

Exhibition Sotheby's

From postage stamps to commemorative oil paintings, the Queen and her demure expression have been captured across a variety of mediums during her impressive 70-year reign. Sotheby's exhibition of historic portraits also features historic documents and beautifully bound books loaned from important country houses across the United Kingdom.

Notable highlights include a finely bound bible, just one of 25 editions created for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Coronation in 1953. There are imposing works of art depicting the Tudors dressed in all their finery. The Armada portrait on load from the Woburn Abbey collection, was painted to commemorate the most famous conflict of Elizabeth I's reign, the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588.

Fast-forward to the 20th Century and Andy Warhol's brightly coloured 'Reigning Queens, 1985' features Her Majesty resplendent in bold red lipstick, tiara and pearls. This iconic screen-print perfectly representing the global and ‘celebrity’ age in which the Queen has reigned. And then there is British artist Chris Levine's ethereal 'Lightness of Being' lenticular lightbox. The latter will also feature in British Art: The Jubilee auction, which will be held here on June 29.

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