THOMAS STRUTH (B. 1954)
THOMAS STRUTH (B. 1954)
THOMAS STRUTH (B. 1954)
THOMAS STRUTH (B. 1954)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
THOMAS STRUTH (B. 1954)

Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh, Windsor Castle 2011

Details
THOMAS STRUTH (B. 1954)
Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh, Windsor Castle 2011
signed 'Thomas Struth' (on a label affixed to the reverse)
chromogenic print face-mounted to Plexiglass in artist's frame
image: 64 3/8 x 81 1/8in. (163.5 x 206.5cm.)
overall: 69 1/4 x 86 1/8in. (176 x 218.8cm.)
Photographed in 2011 and printed in 2012, this work is number four from an edition of six
Provenance
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2013.
Literature
S. O’Hagan, 'Thomas Struth’s photography', in The Guardian, 3 July 2011 (another from the edition illustrated in colour).
J. Malcolm, 'Depth of Field', in The New Yorker, 26 September 2011 (another from the edition illustrated in colour).
P. Elfert, 'Thomas Struth', in Salon, June 2012 (another from the edition illustrated in colour).
B. Ramm, 'Foto: Thomas Struth', in Dagens Naeringsliv - D2, 16 June 2017 (another from the edition illustrated in colour).
H. Lloyd-Smith, 'Thomas Struth on the day he photographed the Queen and Prince Philip: ‘It was an experiment’', in Wallpaper, 2 June 2022 (another from the edition illustrated in colour).
J. Wullschläger, 'A history of majesty: the Queen‘s portraits across 70 years', in Financial Times, 8 September 2022 (another from the edition illustrated in colour).
C. Goldstein, 'In Pictures: See How Artists Have Captured Queen Elizabeth II, the U.K.’s Longest-Serving Monarch, Through Seven Decades of Her Reign', in Artnet, 8 September 2022 (another from the edition illustrated in colour).
A. Marshall, 'Artists discuss how they turned the queen into an icon', in The New York Times, 9 September 2022 (another from the edition illustrated in colour).
Exhibited
Edinburgh, The National Gallery Complex, The Queen: Art and Image, 2011 (another from the edition exhibited). This exhibition later travelled to Belfast, The Ulster Museum; Cardiff, The National Museum Cardiff; London, The National Portrait Gallery.
Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Reinventing Photography: The Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker Collection, 2016-2017 (another from the edition exhibited).
Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts, Tudors to Windsors: Royal Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, 2018-2019 (another from the edition exhibited). This exhibition later travelled to Bendigo, Bendigo Art Gallery.
Munich, Haus der Kunst, Thomas Struth: Figure Ground, 2017 (another from the edition exhibited).
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
Post lot text
Another work from the edition is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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Tessa Lord Senior Specialist, Head of Evening Auction

Lot Essay

An extraordinary feat of human observation, Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh, Windsor Castle 2011 is an historic double portrait by Thomas Struth. Taken in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, it captures not only a monarch and her consort, but also a husband and wife together in their home. Pictured fifty-nine years into her seven-decade reign, and sixty-four years into her marriage, the late Queen is bathed in light, every inch of her hair, face, jewellery and clothing captured with intricate, near-painterly detail. Prince Philip, on the brink of his ninetieth birthday, is seated beside her, the folds of his dark suit crisp and focused. The photograph was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery for their Diamond Jubilee exhibition The Queen: Art and Image: a work from the edition resides in their permanent collection. Like Struth’s celebrated Family Portraits, the work flickers with profound yet subtle intimacy: the formality of the couple’s standing, and the baroque elegance of their surroundings, ultimately fade away, leaving behind a deep sense of comfort in one another’s presence.

Struth’s portrait took its place within a long line of depictions of Queen Elizabeth II—among them works by Lucian Freud, Andy Warhol, Chris Levine and Annie Leibovitz. As he prepared to add a new chapter to this body of work, the artist undertook extensive research. As well as studying hundreds of pre-existing photographs, he conducted site visits to both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, making extensive test shots in his chosen location. While there, he met with the Queen’s dresser, selecting a pale blue brocade dress to complement the green upholstery. It was only while reading a biography of the Queen, however, that Struth began to feel a closer personal connection to the couple. ‘They were my parents’ generation’, he realised. ‘She was exactly my mother’s age and Philip was born in 1921, two years after my father’ (T. Struth, quoted in J. Malcolm, ‘Depth of Field: Thomas Struth’s way of seeing’, The New Yorker, 26 September 2011). They stood not only at the head of the British monarchy, but also at the head of a large multi-generational family: the wedding of their grandson Prince William to Kate Middleton, notably, would take place just three weeks later.

Within a practice that has captured everything from grand cityscapes to hallowed museum halls, Struth’s Family Portraits represent an integral, ongoing strand of his work. Begun in the 1980s, they highlight the unspoken, microscopic cues that exist in close relationships, using an almost abstract approach to colour and form to bring these interactions into focus. Created using an 8x10 large format plate camera and natural light, Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh, Windsor Castle 2011 adopts the same language. The couple’s unique marriage, so closely tied to their royal duties, is hinted at through Struth’s lighting: the Queen is illuminated as if from above, while Prince Philip recedes almost imperceptibly into shadow. While the room itself bespeaks centuries of history, the image has a sharp, contemporary edge, marshalled by a rigorous sense of line and geometry, and a vivid saturation of colour upon the green fabric. Though both figures gaze resolutely forwards, there is a powerful sense of unity between them: a synergy that flickers in the positioning of their hands, and a smile that dances around their eyes. The couple were pleased with the image; so, too, was Struth. In his portrait of a relationship unlike any other, the artist renders his subjects human, bound deeply to their stations, and to each other.

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