To celebrate Queen Elizaneth II’s Diamond Jubilee next year, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London will be holding an exhibition of portraits of Her Majesty by Cecil Beaton.
The exhibition will present highlights from the 18,000 strong V&A collection of Beaton’s royal portraits including photographs, negatives and transparencies.
The exhibition explores Beaton’s long relationship with Queen Elizabeth II, who first sat for him as a teenage princess in 1942. The show depicts the Queen in her roles as princess, monarch and mother, including a number of photographs never seen before, such as informal snapshots during her coronation day in 1953, and the golden coach returning to the palace afterward.
Beaton’s royal portraits were among the most widely published photographs of the 20th century. The exhibition will feature nearly 100 portraits. From official ones conveying the magnitude of the role of Britain’s monarch to tender images of The Queen with her young children: a mix of elegant and highly-staged photographs alongside informal moments of the royal family at home.
The exhibition is arranged in five sections documenting important sittings and charting the shift in Beaton’s photographic style, from his early Rococo-inspired portraits to a starker approach in the 1960s. One section will showcase portraits of Beaton himself by his contemporaries, including Curtis Moffat, Irving Penn and David Bailey.
Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration will be open at the V&A Museum in London between February 8th and April 22nd, 2012.