An artist whose portrait of the Queen was criticised for looking like a Spitting Image puppet is unveiling a new painting of the monarch.
Dan Llywelyn Hall’s expressionist-style painting generated strong views among many in 2013 – and the Welsh artist said it was “impossible to say” what people would make of his latest work.
His initial 5ft by 4ft canvas showed the Queen sitting in an ornate chair with her hands in her lap and was commissioned by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) to mark the 60th anniversary of the Coronation. This latest oil painting, which shows the Queen sitting in the same position wearing the same outfit but from a different angle, will be at the centre of an exhibition showcasing around 20 portraits of Great Britons in London.
The artist said people’s responses to paintings were “deeply personal” but added that this latest work “makes a different statement”. He said the small number of people who had seen it said they could “relate to it more” and thought there was a “greater likeness”.
The criticism of his 2013 portrait “strengthened” him, and comparing his latest work to the previous portrait, Hall said: “In many cases it is a very different picture. It’s much more of a gentler one.”
The artist spent a day at Windsor Castle and the Queen sat for him for around three hours. “It is quite an informal thing really. She’s not sat there rigid … she’s quite animated,” he said. The Cardiff-born artist said the Queen was chatting “non-stop” – but a “secrecy” clause prevents him from divulging what they talked about.
Asked if it was good fun, he said “enormously”, adding: “I think it’s one of the few occasions when she’s able to really … it’s not choreographed or anything so she can really just actually relax.”
The exhibition also features portraits of singers Amy Winehouse and David Bowie, Monty Python star Michael Palin, Oscar winner Sir Michael Caine and actress Dame Barbara Windsor. To commemorate the anniversary of the end of the First World War, both the War Memorials Trust and the Victoria Cross Trust will be the charitable beneficiaries of the exhibition.
The exhibition runs from May 9 to May 14 at the Haymarket Virgin Money Lounge.