TRF Media, 5th May 2023: Your Majesties Five artists have been commissioned by the King and Queen Consort to capture some of the most crucial moments of the Coronation Weekend. Sketches and paintings of the Coronation Procession and Service, as well as the Coronation concert, will be created by the artists.
Inviting artists to sketch, paint, and draw pictures from the Coronation symbolises Their Majesties' common love and affection for the arts and creative sectors, and also maintains a long tradition of similar commissions by previous Monarchs. His Majesty created The Royal Drawing School (previously known as The Prince's Drawing School) in 2000 as The Prince of Wales.
His Majesty is also a watercolourist and frequently commissions artists to accompany him on foreign trips.
Drawings of the procession route
His Majesty has chosen three Royal Drawing School alumni to draw events from points along the Processional Route. The artists will use their preferred medium to observe and capture crowds along the path, Their Majesties' departure from Buckingham Palace, Their Majesties' arrival at Westminster Abbey, and the return trip following the Service.
Fraser Scarfe, Phoebe Stannard, and Gideon Summerfield are the painters.
Scarfe is the current Head of the Drawing Year and attended the 2012-13 Drawing Year. (The Drawing Year is a full scholarship postgraduate-level course offering up to thirty students the opportunity to focus on drawing from observation for one year. There are no tuition fees for The Drawing Year – all students are awarded a full scholarship and receive a free studio space.)
Stannard, like Stannard, teaches at the Royal Drawing School and finished The Drawing Year there in 2010. "I believe The King understands the power, intimacy, and precision of drawing to capture time," Stannard remarked of covering the Coronation. His Majesty's patronage for the arts has helped develop a generation of artists, including me, and it is both an honour and a challenge to be asked to utilise my skills to capture the spectacle of the day."
Summerfield participated in the Young Artists' Programme before returning to The Royal Drawing School as a postgraduate to complete The Drawing Year. Summerfield stated, "His Majesty The King has had a direct impact on the progression of my artistic career from the age of 13 (15 years ago!)"
"I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and the teachers' and school's tuition and support were invaluable." I returned to the School after university to complete a terrific postgraduate course."
Paintings in the Abbey
The Coronation Service will be painted from within Westminster Abbey by Eileen Hogan. She is the first woman to be appointed to this position. Hogan is an Emeritus Professor at the University of the Arts London, a Trustee of the Royal Drawing School, and a Salvesen Mindroom Centre Ambassador.
Hogan is anticipated to create a series of ten small paintings from inside Westminster Abbey, some of which may be expanded into larger works.
Hogan contributed to 'The Last of the Tide: Portraits of D-Day Veterans' (2015) and 'Prince and Patron' (2018).
Throughout the process, Hogan served as a mentor to The Royal Drawing School alumni students. Eileen explained her approach to depicting the Coronation: "Why paint the Coronation when the ceremony will be filmed and photographed from every angle?" Painting allows for complexity and layering as a result of a human making expressive marks. I want to portray how the event will express social and political meanings surrounding the monarchy, faiths, the state, and the congregation in 2023, all encased inside the building of Westminster Abbey, which itself represents centuries of change. My objective is to forge a painterly relationship with this highly historical, concentrated event and its essential characters in my own language while being loyal to the occasion."
Portraits of States
Following the Coronation, the formal painting of the State Portraits will take place. Their Majesties have each appointed an artist to paint their portraits.
His Majesty's Coronation State Portrait will be painted by Peter Kuhfeld NEAC.RP.CAS.
'The Last of the Tide: Portraits of D-Day Veterans' (2015) and 'Seven Portraits: Surviving the Holocaust' (2022) are among Kuhfeld's past works for the Royal Household.
Kuhfeld said: “I first met HRH The Prince of Wales, as he was then over 40 years ago through a mutual friend Sir Brinsley Ford. Since that time His Majesty has given me unwavering support in my work; taking me on five of his overseas trips, opening doors and giving me opportunities that I would not have had. Through his great love of painting and drawing he has commissioned me to paint so many outstanding celebrations, including Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee on the Thames.”
Now, as he becomes our King and takes over from The late Queen, his beloved mother, it is my honour that he has asked me to paint his Coronation Portrait.”
Her Majesty's Coronation State Portrait will be painted by Paul Benney. Benney has twice won the National Portrait Gallery's BP Portrait Awards' Public Choice prize. 'The Last of the Tide: Portraits of D-Day Veterans' (2015), 'Seven Portraits: Surviving the Holocaust' (2022), and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (2015) are among her previous Royal Household commissions.
Benney said: “A portrait is both a projection and a mirror. The recent history of portraiture has taught us that the traditional commission as a tribute solely to the social position of the sitter has gradually morphed into a contemporary regard for the symbolism of the human condition. In my own practice, while acknowledging the reality of power and position, I firmly focus on the physiognomy and personality of the sitter, insisting on the relationship I have with the subject to add psychological weight to what can be a rather restrictive genre. Ultimately, regardless of the sitter - Royalty, politician or simply a friend of the artist – the great portrait will reach across the years and sociological divides to speak to us as a fellow human being. As anybody who has been affected by a great Rembrandt will know, this can be a profoundly moving experience.”
Shana Pagano Lohrey, an alumni of the Royal Drawing School, has been chosen to draw at the Coronation Concert, capturing the mood, throng, and atmosphere of the occasion.
"The Royal Drawing School has cultivated a very special place and community of people, where I learned that there is an infinite range of perspectives and approaches to drawing; each artist practises with their own unique and idiosyncratic challenges," Lohrey stated. I am continuously amazed at the opportunities, people, and adventures that drawing and the School have provided and continue to provide."
Shana has been charged with creating a variety of artworks and anticipates using charcoal and pastels as mediums. Shana's painting, like the others commissioned above, will be added to the Royal Collection.
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