The Queen: Art & Image is the name of a new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in honor of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee. Just like the span of the monarch's reign, the iconic images range from traditional to modern, with commissioned portraits and works by contemporary artists included in the show. The exhibit hopes to demonstrate the evolution of Queen Elizabeth and how she's been portrayed since the 1950s, and as a result how portraiture has changed over that same period.
After her ascension to the throne in 1952 at 25, images of Queen Elizabeth emphasized elegance and youth. By the 1960s, her status as a mother influenced her public persona, but the monarchy also came off as old-fashioned compared to a changing society. According to the exhibit, images from the '70s portray a more relaxed and familiar queen, and by the 1980s, the royal family, including the queen, were treated as celebrities. With the death of Princess Diana, the 1990s were turbulent for the queen and her family, and the diverse images from that period included in the collection demonstrate the confusion. The queen endured all of this, and by the new millennium, images show a Queen Elizabeth who is unwavering.
Works by iconic artists like Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz, and Lucian Freud are on display at the gallery, which officially opens the show tomorrow. It will run until Oct. 21. Get an early look at some now.