In all her vibrant glory! New colourful portrait of the Queen based on 1955 photo is unveiled on the cover of Tatler’s Platinum Jubilee issue
- Tatler commissioned new portrait of the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee
- Stunning, colourful portrait is based on a photo of the Queen from 1956
- Painting depicting the Queen is the work of Nigerian artist Oluwole Omofemi
A vibrant new portrait of the Queen has been unveiled by society bible Tatler.
The colourful portraits shows the Queen wearing a green and blue floral dress and the sash and star of the Order of the Garter and holding a patterned fan.
She also wears a necklace given to her by Nizam of Hyderabad, and a diamond bracelet, a gift from the Duke of Edinburgh, and the State Diadem.
It is based on a photograph of the Queen taken circa 1955, shortly before her 1956 tour of Nigeria.
Tatler has unveiled a new portrait of the Queen to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. The painting, by Nigerian artist Oluwole Omofemi, graces the cover of the society bible’s June edition
The portrait is based on a photograph of the Queen taken circa 1955, shortly before her 1956 tour of Nigeria. It shows the Queen wearing the sash and star of the Order of the Garter
Omofemi said he wanted to depict the Queen, 96, as someone who has ‘conquered life’ and painted her with a halo of black hair, a sign of ‘the power of woman’.
He said: ‘When I start any project, it is not about how beautiful the painting looks but how I can capture the essence of my subject. I needed to imagine I was in front of the Queen, to connect with her.
‘She is the longest reigning [monarch], and when I look at her, I see someone who has conquered life. She understands what she needs to do and she knows she can do it well.’
He continued: ‘It was a wonderful opportunity for me as an artist to be able to add my name to a historic list of people who have painted the Queen, so I was very excited about it…God has helped me to do this.
‘[It is] the most important project of my life so far This portrait is one of my best works because of the emotion that was put into it.’
Most of Omofemi’s portraits depict African women, for whom, he notes, their hair is a key part of their identity.
Omofemi, pictured, said he sees the Queen, 96, as someone who has ‘conquered life’ and depicts the monarch with a halo of black hair, a sign of ‘the power of woman’
He continued: ‘Many of the great things the Queen achieved came at a very young age, so I have painted her with black hair. I also wanted to introduce my own style into this painting and, for me, hair represents the power of the woman.’
The photograph he used as the starting point for his portrait dates from around the time of the Queen’s 1956 visit to Nigeria, which was witnessed by his grandfather.
‘Growing up, I heard a lot of good things about the Queen and how impactful she is – not just in the United Kingdom but to the Commonwealth and all over the world,’ he said. ‘She was so young and yet she had already undertaken so much.’
The piece will be displayed as part of Sotheby’s exhibition, Power & Image: Royal Portraiture & Iconography from 28 May to 15 June in London.
Omofemi’s painting will sit alongside portraits of each of the seven queens regnant of Britain, including the iconic Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I, on loan from the Woburn Abbey collection.
The piece will be displayed as part of Sotheby’s exhibition, Power & Image: Royal Portraiture & Iconography from 28 May to 15 June in London. Pictured, the Queen in London this week
Tatler Editor Richard Dennen said: ‘To honour the Queen’s global status, I wanted to commission a young Commonwealth artist to create a new portrait of Her Majesty for the cover of our special Platinum Jubilee issue.
‘It was England rugby player and art connoisseur Maro Itoje who introduced me to Oluwole Omofemi, a young artist based in south Nigeria, whose bold and unique style I knew immediately would lend itself to this historic moment.’
Itoje, who is a supporter of the Signature African Art gallery which represents Omofemi said: ‘It has been an absolute pleasure working on this project alongside Oluwole Omofemi and Tatler. Projects as special as this one do not come around very often…
‘This piece of art captures the strength, elegance and dignity that the Queen has symbolised in her 70 years on the throne and it has been an honour being a part of this historic story.’
The work will also form the centrepiece of Tatler’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration, taking place at Sotheby’s on Tuesday 31 May, co-hosted by Richard Dennen, Maro Itoje and Bridgerton star Golda Rosheuvel.
Tatler’s July issue is on sale from 26th May and the cover portrait is on display at Sotheby’s from 28th May – 15th June in London