The most beautiful portrait of Queen Elizabeth

The most beautiful portrait of Queen Elizabeth
The most beautiful portrait of Queen Elizabeth
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The comparison between the works of Pietro Annigoni and Lucian Freud depicting the longest-lived sovereign in England. Dedication and pride in two paintings that have the same subject but are opposite

The most beautiful painting of Pietro Annigoni is the portrait of Queen Elizabeth, the ugliest picture of Lucian Freud is the portrait of Queen Elizabeth. How strange. If I look at the complete works of both, I would say that English clearly surpasses Italian, no matter what Bernard Berenson said (“Pietro Annigoni is the greatest painter of this century”). What may have happened? I put forward some hypotheses. The Annigonian portrait was a meeting between two young people (she curious, he enchanted), the Freudian one a nuisance of two old men (she perplexed, he self-centered). Annigoni wanted to make a good impression on the queen, Freud wanted to make the queen look bad (the choice of a very small canvas shows that, right from the start, he had absolutely no intention of rendering the character’s majesty). In Annigoni I see dedication, in Freud pride: I will show you how I reduce Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom (the result was an iconoclastic portrait to be placed next to Duchamp’s Mustachioed Mona Lisa, one of the most stupid and childish works of all time). The most beautiful painting by Pietro Annigoni is also the most beautiful portrait of Queen Elizabeth, among the dozen portraits that they have dedicated to her. So surrender to beauty and regret: don’t remember the old lady of the last few years, remember the twenty-eight-year-old romantic queen.


The article is in Italian

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