Exhibitions and Displays 2005

Release date: 
Monday, 13 December 2004

The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace

George III and Queen Charlotte: Patronage, Collecting and Court Taste                      
The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace

Until 9 January 2005

This major exhibition is the first ever to focus on both George III and his consort, Queen Charlotte, as collectors and to explore their encouragement of the arts.  It examines their close association with leading artists and entrepreneurs during one of the most creative periods in British history, which saw the foundation of such bodies as the Royal Academy of Arts and the Royal Society of Arts. The 500 objects, drawn entirely from the Royal Collection, constitute one of the largest and finest groups of Georgian material ever assembled.

Enchanting the Eye: Dutch Paintings of the Golden Age  *
The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace                   

11 February - 30 October 2005

The Royal Collection contains one of the world's finest groups of Dutch 17th-century paintings.   Among the most enduringly popular images in Western Art, these pictures have for centuries been admired for their harmonious compositions, close observation of detail, subtle light effects and meticulous finish. The 51 outstanding examples selected for the exhibition embrace genre scenes, portraits, still-lifes, history paintings, landscapes and marinescapes.  They include works by the great masters of the period, among them Rembrandt's jewel-like Christ and St Mary Magdalen at the Tomb and his Self-Portrait of 1642,  luminous  landscapes  by  Aelbert  Cuyp,  and  Johannes  Vermeer's enigmatic A Lady at the Virginals.

Canaletto in Venice * 
The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace      

11 November 2005 - 26 February 2006

Our image of Venice has been shaped to a remarkable degree by the work of Giovanni Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto (1697-1768).  His dazzling paintings and lively drawings have fixed the 18th-century city of canals, palaces, churches and squares in the popular imagination.  Canaletto's greatest patron was his friend and agent Joseph Smith, the British Consul in Venice.  The sale of Smith's entire collection to George III in 1762 brought into royal ownership the world's finest group of Canaletto's works, including an outstanding series of Venetian views.  Fourteen luminous paintings of the Grand Canal from 1730-35 will form the centrepiece of the exhibition and will be displayed with 70 works on paper, the largest group of Canaletto's drawings ever shown.  The exhibition will take the viewer on a journey through the heart of Venice - from the quayside houses and workshops on the canal's upper reaches to the bustling festivities of a regatta and Ascension Day celebrations near St Mark's Square. 

* These exhibitions will be shown alongside Treasures from the Royal Collection, which will include paintings by Duccio, Dürer, Clouet, Rubens, Cuyp, Van Dyck, Claude and Lely, works by Fabergé, as well as furniture, sculpture and ceramics, jewellery, silver and gold.

The Summer Opening of the State Rooms, Buckingham Palace

Queen Elizabeth's White Wardrobe and the 1938 State Visit to France                                                                                  
The State Rooms, Buckingham Palace                            

30 July - 27 September 2005

The 'White Wardrobe' designed for Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother by Norman Hartnell will be the centrepiece of a special display at the 2005 Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace. The soft and impeccably elegant Hartnell look, immortalised in Cecil Beaton's famous series of photographs, was to be the hallmark of Queen Elizabeth's style for the rest of her life. The theme of the exhibition will be the State Visit to France made by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in July 1938.  At a time of political turmoil, the visit was intended to reinvigorate the entente cordiale and to reinforce Anglo-French solidarity against Hitler's Germany.  Among the selection of dresses in the display will be the crinoline worn by Queen Elizabeth to the State Banquet at the Elysée Palace and the lace dress chosen for the garden party in the Bagatelle Gardens in the Bois de Boulogne.  Spectacular diamond jewellery worn by Queen Elizabeth with Hartnell's creations and magnificent gifts presented by the President and Madame Lebrun will also be shown, including a René Lalique glass table service, watercolours by Édouard Vuillard, Raoul Dufy and Maurice Utrillo, and the extraordinary dolls, France and Marianne, with their clothes and accessories created by the most famous Parisian couturiers and designers of the 1930s.

The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse

Holbein to Hockney: Drawings from the Royal Collection
The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse                             

Until 6 March 2005

Since the 16th century, drawings have been collected by those who appreciate the spontaneity of the sketch and the ability to see every trace of the artist's hand, providing a fascinating insight into the creative process.  Because of their fragility and sensitivity to light,  they  have  customarily  been  preserved  in  albums  or  portfolios,  and  kept  with printed books in libraries. The 75 examples selected for the exhibition represent each important group of drawings in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, which houses one of the world's greatest collections. From quick sketches to finished presentation works, they range from compositions for paintings, studies of the human form and portrait sketches, to observations from nature and landscapes.  Among the 70 artists represented are many of the finest draughtsmen of the last 500 years - Dürer, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael; Claude and Poussin, Bernini and the Carracci; Canaletto, Hogarth and Rowlandson; Wilkie, Landseer and Sargent.

Watercolours and Drawings from the Collection of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse          

19 March - 25 September 2005

The first exhibition devoted to the collection formed by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother reflects the range of Queen Elizabeth's interests and her enthusiastic patronage and support of contemporary artists from the 1930s onwards.  From records of events of both personal and national significance to still-lifes, figure studies and portraits, the selection of 73 drawings and watercolours embraces artists ranging from Thomas Gainsborough to John Bratby. The exhibition includes works from the most famous and important royal commission instigated by Queen Elizabeth, the series of remarkable watercolour views of Windsor by John Piper.

Unfolding Pictures
The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse     

14 October 2005 - 19 March 2006

The first exhibition of fans from the Royal Collection brings together over 80 examples, ranging in date from the early 17th century to the 1930s. Queen Charlotte, Queen Victoria, Queen Alexandra and - in particular - Queen Mary, all owned significant groups of fans.   Among the highlights of the exhibition will be a leather fan said to have belonged to Charles I; three fans by Fabergé; the exquisite Danish ivory brisé fan given to the future Queen Alexandra on her marriage in 1863; a fan painted by Eugène Lami in 1886; two doll's fans painted by Marie Laurençin; and a vast ostrich feather fan, presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother by the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers at the time of the Coronation in 1937.

The Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle

The Drawings Gallery shows changing exhibitions of material from the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. The special themed displays listed below are shown alongside a selection of treasures, including drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and Holbein. 

Queen Alexandra and the Art of Photography and Treasures from the Royal Library     
The Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle                      

Until 24 April 2005     (Display)
Queen Alexandra, the consort of King Edward VII, was a talented artist and the most celebrated royal photographer of her time. Her interest in photography began in 1885, after George Eastman presented her with one of his new roll-film cameras.  Over the next 20 years she went on to take part in several Kodak exhibitions. Queen Alexandra's photographic albums, often embellished with exquisite watercolour decoration and annotated with impromptu anecdotes, are unique personal diaries that provide a fascinating insight into the lives of the royal families of Europe from the 1880s to the First World War.  The display, which marks the publication of Developing the Picture: Queen Alexandra and the Art of Photography (Royal Collection Publications), includes the Queen's Kinora, an early machine for viewing short films.

Queen Victoria and the Crimea and Treasures from the Royal Library 
The Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle          

30 April 2005 - April 2006     (Display)

In the hundred years between the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo and the outbreak of the First World War, British forces fought in only one European war - the Crimean War of 1854-56.  Improved communication, the advent of photography, the growth of the pictorial press, and the presence of war reporters in the Crimea, allowed the British public to follow the unfolding events of conflict for the first time. Queen Victoria herself took a keen personal interest in the welfare of the soldiers and at the conclusion of the hostilities she instituted the Victoria Cross, which remains the highest award for gallantry in the British armed forces.  The display charts the course of the first 'modern' war and the public reaction to it through material from the Royal Collection and Royal Archives, including contemporary prints, watercolours, photographs, letters and medals. Among the documents on display will be material illustrating the relationship between Queen Victoria and Florence Nightingale.

Further information is available from Public Relations and Marketing, the Royal Collection, telephone: 020 7839 1377, e-mail:press@royalcollection.org.uk   Images are available from the Royal Collection's folder in the Arts section on PA's Picselect at www.pictselect.net or through the PA bulletin board.