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New Royal Portrait Unveiled

Royal portrait: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Nick Cuthell 2013-14 oil on canvas collect in NZPG


His Royal Highness Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, this evening [10/4] unveiled a new portrait of his Grandmother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, commissioned specially for the New Zealand Portrait Gallery. The unveiling took place at Government House, Wellington, at a State reception for guests specially invited to meet the Duke and Duchess during their current New Zealand visit.

“It’s a tremendous honour that Her Majesty has allowed the NZ Portrait Gallery this unique opportunity to paint her from life rather than photographs, which is now more usual” Keith Ovenden, the Gallery’s Chairman of Trustees said. “The New Zealand Portrait Gallery is a national institution so this portrait now belongs to the people of New Zealand. We hope as many people as possible will come to see it”. The portrait will be hung as part of the permanent collection in the gallery’s home in Shed 11 on the aptly named Queen’s Wharf and available for public viewing from Saturday April 12.

**The artist is young New Zealand painter Nick Cuthell, a regular finalist in the biennial Adam Portrait Award, who spends his time between New Zealand and London. A few years ago he exhibited a fine group of portraits marking the New Zealand tour of Ian McKellen and the National Theatre cast of “Waiting for Godot”. More recently he was commissioned to paint the official portrait of Dr Alan Bollard when he retired as Governor of the Reserve Bank, as well as undertaking commissions in London and Florence, Italy, where he has studied. Her Majesty acceded to Nick Cuthell’s request that she wear a simple blue day dress, adorned by her New Zealand silver fern brooch which she has lent to the Duchess of Cambridge for her New Zealand tour and which the Duchess wore on her arrival. Nick Cuthell was able to describe to Her Majesty where the portrait would be hung, an environment she remembered from previous visits.

The portrait was made possible by an anonymous donor group of young New Zealanders who wanted to mark their loyalty to the Queen in celebration of her 60 remarkable years as Queen of New Zealand. Gallery Director Avenal McKinnon said the group felt it was important that the portrait would be on show and freely accessible in posterity for all citizens to see.

Nick Cuthell

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