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HRH the Duchess of Kent (b.1933), Chancellor of the University of Leeds (1965–1999)
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds

HRH the Duchess of Kent (b.1933), Chancellor of the University of Leeds (1965–1999) 1971

Pietro Annigoni (1910–1988)

The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds

(b Milan, 7 June 1910; d Florence, 28 Oct. 1988). Italian painter (and occasional sculptor), the only artist of his time to become internationally famous as a society and state portraitist. The turning point in his career was a commission from the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers to paint a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II (1954–5, Fishmongers' Hall, London); it was reproduced endlessly, notably on the postage stamps and banknotes of various countries, and the jacket blurb of Annigoni's autobiography (An Artist's Life, 1977) claims that it made him ‘the most famous artist in the world—not excluding even Picasso’. Subsequently he painted many other celebrity sitters, including several other members of the British royal family, Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and Pope John XXIII.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)


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