paintings of the modern royal family

Five iconic paintings of the modern Royal family

As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrate the birth of their son, we take a look at five of the most iconic paintings of the modern Royal family. Which is your favourite…?

Annigoni Pietro portrait of Elizabeth II

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, by Pietro Annigoni (1956)

Annigoni was propelled to global fame after he painted this portrait of the young queen. Heavily influenced by the works of the Renaissance masters, he was one of seven artists who signed the Manifesto Of Modern Realist Painters in 1947, which opposed the abstract and favoured a more traditional approach to art.

Prince William and Prince Harry painting

Double portrait of Prince Harry and Prince William, by Nicky Phillips (2009-10)

Nicky Phillips was commissioned by the National Gallery to produce this portrait of William and Harry, the first double-portrait of the Royal brothers.

Prince William and Catherine Middleton by Romero Britto

Prince William and Catherine Middleton pop art, by Romero Britto (2011)

Pop artist Romero Britto was already famous for his colourful portraits of celebrities including Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson before he turned his hand to William and Catherine. He told The Huffington Post: “I wanted to capture the beginning of a family, which is something we all want: a happy beginning and a continuously happy life. I think they have so much tradition and so much history… They have a chance to belong to something and someone. I wanted [the painting] also to be a physical moment in time.”

The Royal Family: A Centenary Portrait by John Wonnacott

The Royal Family: A Centenary Portrait, by John Wonnacott (2000)

Wonnacott’s 12-foot high painting depicts four generations of the Royal family, as well as a liberal smattering of the Queen’s beloved Corgis. Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh and Princes Charles, William and Harry are all shown gathered around the late Queen Mother.

Queen Elizabeth II by Lucian Freud

Queen Elizabeth II, by Lucian Freud (2000-01)

Freud’s portrait of the Queen ignited controversy when it was first unveiled, with critics divided on whether the portrait was simply in Freud’s characteristially realist style or if it was just plain unflattering. At the time, Richard Cork, Art Editor ofΒ The Times described it as “painful, brave, honest, stoical and, above all, clear sighted”;Β Charles Saumarez-Smith, head of the National Portrait Gallery, called it “thought-provoking and pscyhologically penetrating”.


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