Royal Watch News
Queen Elizabeth 'very beautiful' to paint
Sep 19, 2012, 12:01 GMT
Britain's Queen Elizabeth's latest portraitist was surprised that the monarch was 'beautiful' to paint.
Ralph Heimans - an Australian artist who is known for his high society paintings - won the commission to paint the 86-year-old royal in her Diamond Jubilee year, and he insists she was a 'fantastic sitter' for the one hour he was given to take pictures of her in preparation for his artwork.
He said: 'I described to her the reflective mood I wanted the painting to convey; I wanted her to have it in her mind, so it was visible on her face. She was a fantastic sitter, she knew what I wanted, and she's actually very beautiful to paint - I hadn't expected that.'
Ralph admits he was 'very nervous' when he arrived at Buckingham Palace to meet the monarch for the first time - one of the only occasions he's ever worn a tie - and his first glimpse of the queen was a 'jaw-dropping' experience.
He explained: 'At first it was this tiny speck approaching along a corridor with lights streaming through the windows. Every time she came closer, the light would shine on her and her entourage. She was wearing Queen Victoria's jewels, and just shimmering. It was jaw-dropping. I was very nervous.'
The 42-year-old artist was delighted when he got a phone call telling him he'd won the Diamond Jubilee commission just a few days after arriving in London, with his wife and two children yet to find a home, but he had an hunch the job might be his after receiving an email from the Palace shortly before.
He added to the Daily Telegraph newspaper: 'I was overjoyed, but I instantly switched gears. It was more a case of picking up a pencil than a beer.
'I'd had an email, 'Would Mr Heimans be available in March?' and it was late February, so I thought this is encouraging, better get over.'
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&C
COMMENT on Queen Elizabeth 'very beautiful' to paintcomments powered by Disqus
Latest Headlines in Royal Watch
- 1. Princes William and Harry open Help For Heroes centre
- 2. Prince Charles protester fined
- 3. Princes Charles and William to call for poaching action
- 4. Duchess Catherine's etiquette knowledge
- 5. Prince Harry to throw party for US swimmer