- Prints have blocks of luminous colour and are sprinkled with diamond dust
- Price not revealed but similar set sold at Sotheby’s auction for £109,250
- Warhol is known more for his prints of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor
By ELEANOR HARDING
They will certainly add a bit of colour to Windsor Castle.
These flamboyant portraits of the Queen are the latest additions to the Royal Collection after they were acquired to mark the Diamond Jubilee.
Created by pop artist Andy Warhol in 1985, the four prints feature blocks of luminous colour and are aptly sprinkled with diamond dust.
The price has not been revealed, but a similar set of prints were sold at auction at Sotheby’s last week for £109,250.
They were somewhat of a departure from the norm for the artist, who is known more for his prints of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and a tin of Campbell’s soup.
Warhol, who once said he wanted to be ‘as famous as the Queen of England’, made them as part of his the Reigning Queens series.
They will be displayed for the first time in the exhibition The Queen: Portraits Of A Monarch from November 23, which is being staged at Windsor Castle.
The brightly coloured images, which include one in electric blue and another in neon pink, are screenprints each measuring 39in (100cm) by 31.5in (80cm).
As in many of his other famed works, he used an earlier photo to create his portrait, in this case a picture taken in April 1975 by photographer Peter Grugeon which was widely used during the Silver Jubilee celebrations two years later.
The Queen can be seen wearing the Vladimir tiara, Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee necklace, Queen Alexandra’s wedding earrings and King George VI’s Family Order, pinned to the Garter sash.
Other royals featured in Warhol’s series include Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Queen Ntombi Twala of Swaziland.
The new exhibition will highlight the many different ways the Queen has been represented throughout her six decades on the throne.
‘The Warhol prints of the Queen are in many ways the most important popular image of the Queen to be created by an artist print maker over the last few decades’
Jane Roberts, Royal librarian
Royal librarian Jane Roberts described the portraits as ‘huge, extremely colourful and very striking’.
She said: ‘The Warhol prints of the Queen are in many ways the most important popular image of the Queen to be created by an artist print maker over the last few decades.
‘What Andy Warhol did with print making was very new, and particularly in these images where he uses the same outlines and applies different colourways to it, which is something very personal to him. It’s playing around with an image in a way which is entirely new.’