Seven queens star in Sotheby’s show of power, prestige and pearls | Art

7 queens of these islands have been collected this thirty day period in an extraordinary grouping to mark the unrivalled length of Elizabeth II’s reign.

Sotheby’s auction dwelling has assembled portraits of all the regnant queens from the Tudors onwards, with the exception of Lady Jane Grey, the teenager who claimed the throne for just nine times.

Seven queens star in Sotheby’s show of power, prestige and pearls | Art
Lightness of Staying by Chris Levine (2004). Photograph: Chris Levine

Some of these “portraits of power” are improved remembered than other people in the 5 hundreds of years coated, but primary the pack, eclipsed possibly only by a collection of present day portraits of the latest queen, is Elizabeth I. The famed Armada Portrait, attributed to George Gower, serjeant painter to the queen from 1581, has been loaned by Woburn Abbey, operator of the finest preserved of the a few variations of this work. One of the most recognisable pictures from British history, it demonstrates Fantastic Queen Bess in the robe it is thought she wore to address her troops at Tilbury. Her hand, resting on a world, establishes her energy and status.

For the curator of Sotheby’s present Ability & Image: Royal Portraiture & Iconography, Previous Masters expert Julian Gascoigne, the portray quickly became the cornerstone of the full exhibition. “Not only has it develop into the defining graphic of Elizabeth I, the famous ‘Virgin Queen’, it is just one of the defining photographs of female ability of any age,” he mentioned this weekend. “As it’s been endlessly reproduced in a lot of media, it can be complicated to choose in the actuality that you are face to face with the actual factor.”

Gascoigne had to meet up with the challenge of obtaining uncommon portraits of all the queens regnant held in non-public ownership. “As considerably as I’m knowledgeable, this has not been finished in such a centered way before, definitely not outside the house of major museum collections.”

Portrait of Queen Mary I looking stern and holding her hands
Queen Mary I by Hans Eworth (1554). Photograph: Todd-White Art Photography

A portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots, from the French School registers her reign as queen of Scotland from 1542 to 1567. The not known painter made this image of the mom of the long run King James from a drawing now held in the Musée Condé in Chantilly, France, maybe commissioned by Catherine de’ Medici, Mary’s mother-in-regulation, alongside a established of crayon sketches of her children.

Hans Eworth’s portrait of Queen Mary I, known as Bloody Mary, has been ferried across Mayfair from the Culture of Antiquaries, based in Burlington Dwelling, Piccadilly. Completed in 1554, around the time of Mary’s 38th birthday, it is the 1st really serious study painted after her coronation in 1553 and it portrays the queen in an extravagant gown of pink and gold edged with fur and studded with diamonds. The grandeur may have been an try to incorporate excess weight to the picture of a female anticipated to bear an heir to the kingdoms of England and Spain.

Mary II assumed the throne when parliament invited her to be part of her husband Prince William of Orange as joint sovereigns following the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Depicted at the delivery of the constitutional monarchy of now, Jan van der Vaart’s portrait displays her sporting a velvet and ermine cloak more than a unfastened blue gown fastened with diamond brooches.

Queen Victoria sitting on a throne with her feet on a cushion
Queen Victoria by George Hayter (1838). Photograph: Personal assortment

Sir Godfrey Kneller’s portray of Queen Anne demonstrates her presenting the ideas of Blenheim Palace to a determine symbolizing “military merit”, probably styled right after the Duke of Marlborough himself, the lucky receiver of the palace. Anne became the first monarch of a united Fantastic Britain following the Act of Union of 1707.

George Hayter’s portrait of a younger Victoria has been loaned to Sotheby’s from a non-public selection. This portrait, commissioned for Madame Tussauds in 1838, shows all the regal crimson-velvet trappings, with the coronation gown and state crown, but signifies the instant when the monarchy became a well known confection instead than a real ability in the land. Victoria’s youth and humanity are foregrounded in a photograph, which the present-day Queen has copy of in her personal selection.

The demonstrate runs until finally 15 June in Sotheby’s Bond Road sale home, which is keeping a collection of accompanying lectures and performances.

This write-up was amended on 5 June 2022. An previously variation gave the dates for Mary, Queen of Scots’ reign as 1542-87 she lived to 1587 but was compelled to abdicate in 1567.