Bonhams Print Sale in London on 11 July will offer a rare proof copy of Andy Warhol’s Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. This signed and numbered print of Queen Elizabeth II, part of the Reigning Queens 1985 series is estimated to fetch between £40,000-60,000 ($62,000-93,500). It was his last print-portrait before his untimely death in 1987.
Including this rare Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, Warhol’s Reigning Queens 1985 portfolio of sixteen prints was made up of four images of each of the four female monarchs who were ruling in the world at the time of the portfolio’s publication: Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Ntombi Twala of Swaziland. The works were based on official or media photographs of the monarchs. Queen Elizabeth’s portrait is made from a photograph taken in 1977 for her Silver Jubilee. The photographic silkscreen technique used is central to Warhol’s practice, employed in both his prints and paintings.
“Warhol was, of course, a commercial artist working in design, fashion and advertising for many years before he crossed over into the world of fine art. It is in his portraits above all that Warhol combined these two aesthetic domains, deploying all his graphic skill, his eye for engaging line and colour, his ‘creative director’ talents to make images that would not only appeal to his immediate clients, but also to absolute strangers in the years to come,” the artist, art critic and journalist Adrian Dannatt expressed his opinion about Warhol’s portrait of the Queen in the latest edition of Bonhams Magazine. [Bomhams]