Majestic Portrait Of The Queen Breaks Records

The striking image sold for over three times the pre-sale estimate...


by Danielle Fowler |

Yesterday, the 'Sotheby’s Made in Britain' auction took place in London.

The presitigous event, which gives buyers the opportunity to invest in modern British artwork, was expected to bring in approximately one to two million pounds.

But with 90 percent of the pieces finding a buyer and 74 percent exceeding their high-estimates, the auction eventually brought in an incredible £2,605,752.

And one portrait in particular, contributed to the record-breaking sales. A striking image of Queen Elizabeth II by 'light art' extraordinare Chris Levine, reached three times its pre-sale estimate of approximately £50,000 to £80,000 after eventually selling for £187,500.

And most interestingly, the candid image entitled 'Lightness of Being' was actually an improvised shot of the Monarch.

Made in Britain, 5 April 2017. Image courtesy of Sotheby's London ©Sotheby's London

Levine was comissioned by the Jersey Heritage Trust to shoot a portrait of the Queen back in 2004 to mark 800 years of allergiance to the Crown by the Island of Jersey. The final image was given the title 'Equanimity' and was presented to the National Portrait Gallery in 2011.

But the above image was derived from the original shoot by chance. The Queen was asked to sit perfectly still for eight seconds at a time while the shoot took place. And between each exposure, Her Majesty would shut her eyes to rest.

Levine was drawn to her meditative composure and subsequently improvised by snapping the Queen while she rested. The result? The incredible image which has since become famous and broken pre-sale records.

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