Royal treasures on show for the Diamond Jubilee

Monday, 5 March 2012

An exhibition of treasures from the Royal Collection will go on display from 16 March at The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, to celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

Treasures from The Queen’s Palaces, reflects the tastes of monarchs and other members of the royal family who have shaped one of the world’s great art collections. The selection of 100 outstanding works has been made across the entire breadth of the Royal Collection, from nine royal residences and more than five centuries of collecting, and includes paintings, drawings, miniatures, watercolours, manuscripts, furniture, sculpture, ceramics and jewellery. Most items will be shown in Scotland for the first time.

The selection of paintings includes examples by great masters of the art of portraiture, among them Frans Hals and William Hogarth. One of the most celebrated portraits in the Royal Collection, Rembrandt’s Agatha Bas will also feature. The painting was bought by the most prolific collector in British royal history, George IV, when Prince Regent. 

The dazzling display of draughtsmanship from the 15th century to the present day includes works by the towering figures of the Italian Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. There are studies of the human form, of landscape and the natural world by Rubens, Claude, Poussin and Canaletto. 

Furniture and the decorative arts played an important role in the creation of grand interiors that for centuries have formed the backdrop to Monarchy. Among the display of silver and gold, much of it still in use today, are two superb Renaissance pieces, the Nautilus Cup and The Hutton Cup, thought to have been given by Elizabeth I to her goddaughter Elizabeth Bowes in 1570 and acquired by Her Majesty The Queen in 1957. 

Successive generations of the Royal Family have shaped the royal collection of works by Carl Fabergé, the great jeweller and goldsmith of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today the collection is unparalleled in size, range and quality.  Two Easter Eggs made for the Russian Imperial family and a tiny model of a capercaillie are among more than 20 exquisite pieces by Fabergé in the exhibition.

The tradition of magnificent display in personal jewellery is an integral part of royal history, Pieces of historic jewellery with strong personal associations include a gold locket encrusted with rubies and diamonds containing a lock of Charles I’s hair and a pendant said to have been owned by Mary, Queen of Scots.

Book tickets to The Queen's Gallery,  Palace of Holyroodhouse.