Queen Elizabeth II took a virtual part in the presentation of her own portrait. Her Majesty joined the ceremony via a video call. It was for the first time in the history of the British royal family.
It looks like artist Miriam Escofet got approval from her reigning model when she saw the result. During the conversation, the queen stated that she was glad that she was able to look at the portrait. Some fragments of her video chat were posted on the royal family’s social media accounts.
The portrait depicts the queen sitting on a gilded chair, wearing a blue knee-length dress. A teacup is on the table next to her. In the background, there is a fragment of painting with her great-great-great-grandmother, Queen Charlotte. The work was completed in 1781 by the artist Thomas Gainsborough.
The portrait of Elizabeth II was commissioned by the British Foreign Office, which merges with the Department for International Development in September this year. The painting will hang in the new office of the department.
In a press statement, Escofet called the assignment a tremendous honor and added that she wanted the painting to capture Her Majesty’s humanity, radiance, and warmth, which was powerfully manifested during two portrait posing sessions.
This is the thirteenth portrait for which Elizabeth II posed for over the past 10 years. The previous one was painted in 2018 at Windsor Castle. It was executed by artist Benjamin Sullivan for the Royal Air Force Club.
The artist praised the Queen’s reaction as very positive. She even joked about the cup of tea that looked like an empty one. She smiled, asking how long the work took, as well as about future projects of the artist. Escofet added that it took her seven months to complete the portrait.
Meanwhile, unflattering reviews of Miriam Escofet’s work have already appeared in the British press. So, the Telegraph newspaper called the portrait a disappointing tasteless and the most boring image of the queen that has appeared in all the years of her reign.
Miriam Escofet was born in Spain and moved to the UK as a child. She is best known for winning the most prestigious portraiture award in 2018, the BP Portrait Award. Then the artist presented a portrait of her mother called The Angel at My Table.