Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Painting of the Day: The Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York, a Symbolic Representation, 1923

The Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York:
A Symbolic Representation
April, 1923
Ricciardo Meacci
The Royal Collection

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was a lifelong fan of Florentine painting after being introduced to the work of the Italian masters as a young girl. The woman responsible for teaching young Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon about art was her mother’s unmarried sister, Violet Cavendish-Bentinck.

It was Cavendish-Bentinck who presented The Duke and Duchess of York (the future King George V I and Queen Elizabeth) with this symbolic painting on their wedding day in April of 1923.

The Duke and Duchess of York on their
wedding day in 1923.  Elizabeth is not holding her
bouquet.  In a touching, unrehearsed moment,
she paused to place her flowers on the
Tomb of the Unknown Solider upon entering
Westminster Abbey.
The painting is styled as a Renaissance altarpiece and is the work of Italian painter Ricciardo Meacci who was celebrated for his miniature watercolor allegorical paintings. Meacci often created miniature works in the style of Renaissance altarpieces and his work quickly found an audience with the elite of London.

This was one of two wedding gifts that were created by Meacci. The other was a painted headboard in a similar style.

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