Queen of England Incredulous at Strange Portrait Presented by German President
Her majesty was highly amused.
Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II has been presented with a portrait by German President Joachim Gauck during her state visit to Germany, which has left her completely baffled.
On being presented with the painting by German artist Nicole Leidenfrost at the president’s official residence, the 18th-century Bellevue Palace in Berlin, the Queen was heard to ask:
“Is that meant to be my father?”
“Don’t you recognize him?” Gauck enquired.
“No,” the monarch replied.
The work was painted from a childhood photograph of the young princess taken in 1935, on a horse lead by the reigns by her father King George VI. The original is, of course, black and white while the painting is very vivid.
The expressionist-inspired painting features a blue horse, the princess is rendered in bright pink, and her father, the King, is wearing what looks like a bright yellow riding jacket.
The queen was then seen to look repeatedly from the painting to Gauck and back again. She then laughed.
“Have you seen the photo?” her majesty was heard asking Gauck as she walked away.
Given that Germany has two of the most successful living painters in the world, namely Georg Baselitz and Anselm Kiefer, it’s a slight puzzle as to why Gauk chose Leidenfrost for the job.
In an interview with Monopol Magazin, Leidenfrost said she is not taking the mockery of the British press to heart. “I’ve seen it, but I’m very relaxed about it,” she said. “A lot of great artists, which cost millions today, were once attacked by the press—so I’m on the right track.”
Leidenfrost also added that the color she had chosen for the horse in her painting was a reference to the early 20th century German art group, The Blue Rider. Perhaps it will be added into Queen’s Pictures collection?
Her majesty was on a state visit to Germany with her husband Prince Phillip and has attended a series of appointments including a boat trip down the river Spree and meeting with German Prime Minister Angela Merkel.
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.