Andy Warhol once said "I want to be as famous as the Queen of England," but he may never have imagined he would count Her Majesty among his customers.
Queen Elizabeth II is known to be a lover of the arts, though her taste is usually more classic than Pop art. She's made an exception, however, with the Royal Collection's most recent purchase four prints of Andy Warhol's portrait of the queen herself.
Earlier this week the Royal Collection announced it would purchase part of Warhol's "Reigning Queens" collection, four "diamond-dusted" prints of the queen created in 1985, injecting some pop-art flavour into the Palace.
The prints were purchased to be displayed at Windsor Castle in an exhibition later this year as part of the queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations marking 60 years on the throne.
Adapted from a photograph of Queen Elizabeth II taken in 1975, the collection of brightly coloured prints is part of a portfolio of similar works sprinkled with "diamond dust" fine particles of crushed glass which glisten like diamonds.
The queen isn't the first of Warhol's subjects to favour his colourful impression of herself.
Among the artist's famous subjects was Elizabeth Taylor, whose now-famous portrait was painted by the pop art pioneer in 1963.
It wasn't until 14 years later that Liz finally got her hands on a copy, for which she was most appreciative writing a personalised thank you letter to the artist which she signed off "Elizabeth or Liz (of A.W's fame)".
"I'm so proud I finally have your 'Liz' and thank you for signing it so sweetly for me," she wrote.
Though the queen has not publicly commented on what she thinks of her own "Liz" portrait, having sat for hundreds of portraits during her reign, the purchase of the prints estimated to be valued at around $230,000 is seen to indicate some level of approval of the work.
The November exhibition will also feature a 2001 oil painting of the queen as well as photographs of her majesty by Annie Leibovitz, Cecil Beaton, and Dorothy Wilding.
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