From The Archive - Warhol and Co Head to Beningbrough Hall by Royal Appointment

This article was originally featured on the One&Other Magazine website.

The National Portrait Gallery in partnership with the National Trust have announced a new art exhibition to arrive to Beningbrough Hall.

The winners of the 2013 Visitor attraction are proud to welcome some incredibly rare pieces that have a distinctive regal feel. There will be pieces created by the late pop artist Andy Warhol. His instantly recognisable photos of Queen Elizabeth, which utilised his famed photographic silkscreen technique shows the Queen in a portrait from here 1977 Silver Jubilee. The four prints are taken from his “Reigning Queens” collection. They are identifiable by their red background and the use of fragmentation via the overlay of graphic shapes. The use of graphic shapes a mainstay in Warhol’s work but in this collection it was purposefully done, to give it the specific Warhol feel. As he said in an interview with Barry Blinderman, “I really would still rather do just a silkscreen of the face without all the rest, but people expect just a little bit more. That’s why I put in all the drawing”.

It is not only famed pop artists that are on show though with works by fashion photographer Mario Testino. The Peruvian born Testino was rewarded with the Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Photographic Society, meaning his works are definitely a must see. His most famous piece will be on show, the photo of the late Princess Diana that was showcased in Vanity Fair. Taken five months before her death it is a reminder of what was lost. There are also Testino’s photos of Prince Charles and Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement photo.

The theme of the newest royal union is evident with the announcement that the portrait of their young family, including Prince George will be open to the public for the first time. The photo, of Prince George’s christening was taken by London born fashion designer Jason Bell. With his work regularly showcased in Vanity Fair and Vogue, the chance to see his candid photo of Prince George for the first time is surely a memorable experience.


A more contemporary piece with a distinctive royal flavour is Chris Levine’s Lightness of Being. Now one of the most iconic pieces of the 21st century sees Queen Elizabeth II as we really see her, in an almost meditative state. Famously the photo was an accident though. With the artist commissioned to make a holographic portrait to commemorate the Isle of Jersey’s 800th year of allegiance, the Queen had to sit completely still for 8 seconds. Whilst she was being filmed she closed her eyes momentarily and this is when Levine closed the shutter. This rarely seen side of the Queen at peace is a truly amazing piece.  

With the inclusion of art created by some of the world’s most iconic photographers and artists this is a must see event for anyone with a love for contemporary art or seminal royal pieces.