EDINBURGH.- The National Galleries of Scotland
announces the acquisition of a photographic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II that goes on display today at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Photographer Julian Calders Queen of Scots, Sovereign of The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of The Thistle and Chief of The Chiefs, depicts Her Majesty The Queen standing by the Gelder Burn on the Balmoral estate in Royal Deeside.
The formal portrait, set against a dramatic highland backdrop was made in August 2010 and the photographer was inspired by the work of great Scottish artist, Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823), who included evocative landscapes as backgrounds for some of his most memorable paintings. It has been hung in Gallery 7 at the Portrait Gallery with examples of Raeburns portraiture.
In this photograph Her Majesty The Queen is presented as Sovereign of The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of The Thistle, a chivalric Order that dates from the seventeenth century. Her Majesty wears the robes of the Order and insignia bearing the emblem of the thistle (the national flower of Scotland) and the cross of Saint Andrew (the patron saint of both the nation and the Order).
This memorable portrait first appeared in a book called Keepers: The Ancient Offices of Britain (2013), by Alastair Bruce, Julian Calder and Mark Cator. This edition of the book was published to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of The Queens Coronation. The photograph now on show at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is however the only version of the portrait in a gallery collection.
Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, commented: This unusual and impressive portrait of Her Majesty The Queen is a very welcome addition to the Scottish National Portrait Gallerys collection. Her Majesty visited the Gallery in 2012 to formally re-open, following its highly successful re-development, and so it is especially pleasing to be able to show here such a striking and distinctly Scottish portrait, which represents an accomplished and fresh interpretation of traditional imagery.