Royal Collection buys Andy Warhol’s Queen Elizabeth II portraits

By Daniel S Levine,

Pop Art is now joining the Royal Collection Trust, after purchasing several of Andy Warhol’s famous portraits of Queen Elizabeth II. Warhol’s brightly colored work will now be on display next to portraits of the royal family dating back to the 15th century.

According to The Associated Press, the portraits will be on display as part of the Portraits of a Monarch exhibit at Windsor Castle. The portraits, based on a 1977 photo for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, were purchased Monday, but the palace did not disclose how much they cost.

“They are in a very interesting and contemporary technique that Andy Warhol really popularized, screen printing with wonderfully vibrant colors, in multiples,” Royal Librarian Jane Roberts told the AP. “They join a collection dating back 4, 5, 600 years. The fact that they are in a completely new technique is not surprising; things change.”

She added, “The Warhol prints of the queen are in many ways the most important popular image of the queen to be created by an artist print maker over the last few decades.”

Portraits of a Monarch will also feature official and formal portraits of the Queen, who Roberts said personally approved the purchase of the Warhol portraits. The exhibit will run from Nov. 23, 2012 to June 9. 2013.

Warhol, who died in 1987, made the portraits as part of his 1985 portfolio of screenprints called Reigning Queens. He made the portraits using the same techniques he used to create his iconic images of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Kennedy.



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