As part of the Legatum Institute's 'Promise of Freedom' series of lectures, the Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Sandy Nairne, will discuss the different ways in which Her Majesty the Queen has been viewed by artists in the course of her reign and how these portrayals record a constant evolution in the Sovereign's relationship to her subjects.
The 'Promise of Freedom' lectures mark the 60th anniversary of the coronation of the Queen.
Elizabeth II has sat for an astonishing total of 741 official portraits, both paintings and photographs. At the start of the reign Cecil Beaton's romantic portraits enveloped the young Queen in cascades of satin and silk, and Pietro Annigoni saw her as a heroic and chivalrous monarch. Lichfield and Snowdon portrayed a wife and mother in the 1960s and '70s, and in 1985 Andy Warhol's prints took the Queen into the domain of Pop Art. More recently Lucian Freud revealed a stoic and solitary figure, burdened by the Crown but resolved to uphold her vows of service and duty.
Sandy Nairne has been Director of the National Portrait Gallery since 2002, and in discussing this theme he brings to bear both the skills of the art historian as well as his professional expertise as curator of one of the world's great art collections. Previously Director of Programmes at the Tate Gallery, and before then Director of the Arts Council's Visual Arts department, he has played a major role in the revival of contemporary British art.
Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery
Jeffrey Gedmin, President and CEO, Legatum Institute
Hywel Williams, Senior Advisor, Legatum Institute
The event will commence at 6:30pm for a 6:45pm start, followed by a drinks reception and 8:45pm close. RSVP required (details below).
About 'The Promise of Freedom' Series
‘The Promise of Freedom’ series focuses on the relationship between British and American culture in the period 1953-2013. How did the creative arts in the UK impact on the American cultural scene, and vice versa? And what was the nature of the contribution made by poets, visual artists, musicians and playwrights to the wider political, social and economic life of these two countries?
The series includes Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Dame Harriet Walter, British actress, and a senior military commander. In addition, the world premiere of Sir John Tavener's Three Poems by George Herbert, a work commissioned by the Legatum Institute, will be performed at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C.
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