Saturday, March 23, 2013

Painting of the Day: Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, 1938

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
The Royal Collection
This handsome portrait of Queen Elizabeth (later known as the Queen Mother) was painted between 1938 and 1945. It is the work of Sir Gerald Kelly who was initially commissioned to paint the state portraits of George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1938.
Kelly was nearly finished by the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. The two paintings were relocated during the war from his studio in London to Windsor Castle where Kelly spent the next five years slowly completing his commission. Kelly remained at Windsor Castle during the war and was kept company by the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose who were sent to the safety of castle for the duration of the war while their parents remained at Buckingham Palace.

Here, we see Queen Elizabeth wearing her coronation robes and regalia. According the the curators of the Royal Collection, Kelly enjoyed his sittings with the Queen and said of her, “It is hard to suggest the admiration and affection which grew all around her. From wherever one looked at her, she looked nice: her face, her voice, her smile, her skin, her colouring - everything was right.”

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