Ralph Heimans Official Portrait Of The Queen For Jubilee
New Painting will be unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in Australia later this year and displayed in London in 2013.
When the Australian painter Ralph Heimans breezed through the gates of Buckingham Palace on March 21, he was only given one briefing and that was 60 minutes of the Queen's time to capture her diamond jubilee portrait. The sitting took place at Buckingham Palace on 21 March 2012. However the artist, whose highly acclaimed portraits include Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, plans to depict The Queen in a different but symbolic setting which will be revealed when the painting is unveiled later this year.
The large-scale and ambitious portrait will be displayed at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia (Canberra) in celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year. It will then be exhibited in London from early 2013 in the run up to the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation on 2 June. The Queen has visited Australia regularly throughout her reign and the announcement of this official portrait coincides with the Australian holiday celebrating The Queen’s birthday on 11 June.
With a body of commissioned works spanning over two decades, Ralph Heimans is internationally renowned for his portraits of influential figures that artfully integrate subject and context, offering meaningful narratives about his subjects and their life stories. His thoughtful compositions are underpinned by a creative interplay of light, reflection, geometry and perspective, that combine to give his portraits the sense of an imagined reality. While his technical approach pays homage to old masters his subject matter is distinctly contemporary. His public portraits have included subjects as diverse as the conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy, Justice Michael Kirby, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch and the French National Rugby team. Three of his works are in the National Portrait Gallery of Australia’s Collection. Born and educated in Sydney, he now lives and works in London having spent a number of years in Paris.
Commenting on this prestigious commission, artist Ralph Heimans said: “I feel very privileged to be working on such an exciting project, in such an exciting year, and it’s certainly my most ambitious work to date. Through the narrative of this portrait I want to explore the dynamic between the public role of The Queen and the personal, human dimension. I have chosen to portray Her Majesty outside of the traditional setting of Buckingham Palace, placing Her in a context that has a special significance for Her Coronation and the Diamond Jubilee.”