Archive for Rupert Alexander

The painted Queen

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , , , , on June 1, 2010 by echostains


Annie Leibovitz 2007 Queen's 80th

The Queen of England Elizabeth 11 was born  April 22nd, crowned 2nd June 1953, Mayfair London.  She  celebrates her ‘official’ birthday the first, second or third  of June each year with a special ‘Trooping of the Colour’ or her Birthday parade.  Throughout history, the monarch has always had their portrait painted.   The Queen is no exception. 

Annie Leibovitz Demi Moore

Many artists commemorated the  Queen’s 80th birthday: among them American portrait photographer Annie Liebovitz, famous for her work for Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone magazines.  This picture is one of a series of specially commissioned photos to promote the Queen’s first State visit to USA in 16 years.  Not everyone was happy with it though.  critic Henry Alan from the Washington Post said:- 

“It looks like something you might see in a catalogue offering the Queen herself for sale.”

Whilst I don’t agree with the critic, I do think the Queen looks aloof and alone and inaccessable, which I suppose she is in her role.


Australian artist and entertainer Rolf Harris had a completely different approach.  He wanted his portrait to be more impressionistic than a photographic representation. 

Rolf Harris Queen portrait

  I really like this portrait, I think that the Green lightens the Queen’s persona and gives her a friendly glamourous Granny look (and who’s to say she’s not?) 

“I’m not making any claims that this is the greatest painting in the world,” said Harris, who trained as an artist, “I’ve done the best I can.” 

“I was really thrilled with the impressionistic look, especially the hands,” added the former Animal Hospital presenter. 

“I really like the way you get the blueness of the veins coming through the skin 


A completely different type of portrait was done by Rupert Alexander.  

Rupert Alexander

 This painting was only done recently this year by the 35-year-old artist.  I  think it’s a Masterpiece and it will not look out-of-place in the National Gallery.  All the artist had was three one hour sittings with the Queen! I have never heard of this artist before – but I shall be looking out for his work in the future. 


Suffolk artist Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy executed this portrait of the Queen in 2002.  In the background she has included some sites in the 

Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy

Commonwealth, including great Zimbabwe, Sydney Opera House and the Taj Mahal.  She has made the Queen very tall and regal in her rich blue gown.  The whole portrait is lit up with sumptuous colour. 

This portrait is by one of my favorite artists – Lucien Freud.  

Lucian Freud portrait

 You either love it or hate it – I LOVE it of course!  He has not flattered the monarch at all, but he has captured her humanness beneath the dazzling crown.  Each painterly stroke tells of a life of duty and patience, indeed she does look a little weary.  Which of these portraits do you prefer and why?  

Annie Liebovitz article here 

Rolf Harris article here 

 Rupert Alexander article here 

Lucian Freud article here 

Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy article here check out her gallery here