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All of us at Art UK are deeply saddened by the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the monarch who has ruled over our country for the last 70 years. In this Curation we have drawn together from across the United Kingdom a selection of our favourite paintings and sculptures of her to mark the end of this second Elizabethan Age. The significance of the Queen's reign has been captured in these artworks, which celebrate her unprecedented public service.


10 artworks
  • The Royal Family has announced that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has passed away. During her 70 years on the throne, she was admired and respected worldwide. This portrait shows The Queen as many will remember her – with a warm smile.
    Michael Leonard said of the portrait, which features the Queen's corgi Spark, that his aim was 'a straightforward rather informal picture that would tend to play down the remoteness of Her Majesty's special position'.

    Queen Elizabeth II 1985–1986
    Michael Leonard (1933–2023)
    Acrylic on cotton duck
    H 76.2 x W 61.6 cm
    National Portrait Gallery, London
    Queen Elizabeth II
    © National Portrait Gallery, London. Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

  • Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born on 21 April 1926, in a house just off Berkeley Square in London. She was the first child of Albert, Duke of York, second son of George V, and his duchess, the former Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. This sensitive bronze by the Scottish sculptor William Lamb depicts the Princess as a young girl.

    HRH The Princess Elizabeth 1933
    William Lamb (1893–1951)
    Bronze
    H 31 x W 24 x D 23 cm
    ANGUSalive
    HRH The Princess Elizabeth
    Photo credit: ANGUSalive

  • This informal portrait by Scottish painter Herbert James Gunn shows Princess Elizabeth taking tea at the Royal Lodge with her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and sister, Princess Margaret. The relaxed poses and domestic setting hint at how the future Queen became seen as a reassuring and relatable figure.


    When the Second World War broke out, the royal family made the decision to remain in London. Princess Elizabeth won the nation's respect and admiration by contributing to the war effort as a member of the ATS (auxiliary territorial service).

    Conversation Piece at the Royal Lodge, Windsor 1950
    Herbert James Gunn (1893–1964)
    Oil on canvas
    H 151.1 x W 100.3 cm
    National Portrait Gallery, London
    Conversation Piece at the Royal Lodge, Windsor
    © National Portrait Gallery, London. Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

  • Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, five years before she became Queen. They met whilst she visited Dartmouth's Royal Naval College. Prince Philip finished his career in the navy to support Elizabeth II in her royal duties, his devotion captured in this romantic portrait by Edward Irvine Halliday.

    Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth (1926–2022), and the Duke of Edinburgh (1921–2021) 1949
    Edward Irvine Halliday (1902–1984)
    Oil on canvas
    H 91 x W 73 cm
    Britannia Royal Naval College
    Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth (1926–2022), and the Duke of Edinburgh (1921–2021)
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Britannia Royal Naval College

  • Elizabeth acceded to the throne at the young age of 25, following the death of the King in 1952. Her coronation was held on 2nd June 1953 at Westminster Abbey. Kenneth Hauff's coronation portrait suggests the weight of the challenge as much as that of the crown.

    Coronation Portrait of Elizabeth II 1953
    Kenneth Hauff (1913–1967)
    Oil & mixed media on board
    H 139 x W 92 cm
    Durham University
    Coronation Portrait of Elizabeth II
    © the copyright holder. Photo credit: Durham University

  • Following her coronation, Elizabeth and her husband embarked on a seven-month round-the-world tour, visiting 13 countries. The Queen would go on to make hundreds of overseas visits. A 1965 state visit to Ethiopia was marked with this painting by Johannes Tessema, which depicts the many processions and introductions involved on such a trip.

    State Visit of Elizabeth II to Ethiopia, 1965 c.1965–1966
    Johannes Tessema (active c.1930–c.1970)
    Oil on cotton
    H 142 x W 230 cm
    Government Art Collection
    State Visit of Elizabeth II to Ethiopia, 1965
    © the copyright holder. Photo credit: Government Art Collection

  • By the time the Queen sat for this striking and dignified portrait by Pietro Annigoni, she had spent over 15 years on the throne. During this time, she gave birth to her youngest two children, Prince Andrew in 1960 and Prince Edward in 1964. They joined siblings Prince Charles, born in 1948 and Princess Anne, born in 1950.

    Queen Elizabeth II 1969
    Pietro Annigoni (1910–1988)
    Oil on panel
    H 198.1 x W 177.8 cm
    National Portrait Gallery, London
    Queen Elizabeth II
    © National Portrait Gallery, London. Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

  • In 1977, the Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee, marking 25 years since her accession to the throne. This painting by Julian Barrow shows her in Westminster Hall in one of the many formal acknowledgements of her reign; the public celebrations included street parties.
    It was the first of four jubilees that the country would go on to celebrate. The Golden Jubilee year of 2002 was overshadowed for the Queen by the deaths of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. Then came the Diamond Jubilee in 2012, followed by this year's monumental Platinum Jubilee celebrations, during which the Queen appeared at Buckingham Palace.

    Elizabeth II Receiving the Jubilee Address in Westminster Hall, 1977 1977
    Julian Barrow (1939–2013)
    Oil on canvas
    H 75 x W 100 cm
    Parliamentary Art Collection
    Elizabeth II Receiving the Jubilee Address in Westminster Hall, 1977
    © the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Parliamentary Art Collection

  • John Wonnacott's centenary portrait shows a relaxed Queen surrounded by loved members of the royal family, including her grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry. Her Corgi companions play around their feet. The Queen Mother takes the central place in the composition, while the Duke of Edinburgh looks on from the back of the room. The Queen said about her husband, in 1997: 'He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years...' He passed away in 2021.

    The Royal Family: A Centenary Portrait 2000
    John Wonnacott (b.1940)
    Oil on canvas on foamboard
    H 366.3 x W 249.3 cm
    National Portrait Gallery, London
    The Royal Family: A Centenary Portrait
    © the artist. Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

  • This sculpture by Douglas Jennings is thought to be the only seated sculpture of Elizabeth II, originally commissioned to celebrate her 90th birthday and later to celebrate our longest reigning monarch. She is portrayed wearing her Order of the Garter robes.

    Elizabeth II (1926–2022) 2016–2018
    Douglas Jennings (b.1966) and HVH Art Foundry
    Bronze & Portland stone
    H 257 cm
    Elizabeth II (1926–2022)
    © the copyright holder. Photo credit: Tracy Jenkins / Art UK