500 Years of British Royal Intrigue at MFA Houston

Patrick Lichfield, India Amanda Caroline Hicks; Sarah-Jane Gaselee; Diana, Princess of Wales; Clementine Hambro; Queen Elizabeth II, 29 July 1981, cibachrome print, National Portrait Gallery, London. © Patrick Lichfield
Patrick Lichfield, India Amanda Caroline Hicks; Sarah-Jane Gaselee; Diana, Princess of Wales; Clementine Hambro; Queen Elizabeth II, 29 July 1981, cibachrome print, National Portrait Gallery, London. © Patrick Lichfield
Patrick Lichfield, India Amanda Caroline Hicks; Sarah-Jane Gaselee; Diana, Princess of Wales; Clementine Hambro; Queen Elizabeth II, 29 July 1981, cibachrome print, National Portrait Gallery, London. © Patrick Lichfield

In a major collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is displaying 150 unique objects — many never seen outside England — for the “Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits from Holbein to Warhol” exhibition. The groundbreaking show will be on view on the second floor of the Caroline Wiess Law Building through January 27, 2019.

Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, director of the NPG, says that visitors to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston exhibit will have the “opportunity to encounter some of history’s most fascinating personalities as well as many of the most accomplished portraits produced in the last 500 years.”

“Tudors to Windsors,” showcasing tiaras, crowns, beads, gems, jewelry, paintings, sculptures, and photographs, covers four British royal dynasties spanning five centuries: the Tudors (1485–1603), the Stuarts (1603–1714), the Hanoverians (1714–1901), and the present-day House of Windsor.

Sir James Gunn, Conversation Piece at the Royal Lodge, Windsor, 1950, oil on canvas, National Portrait Gallery, London. © National Portrait Gallery, London
Sir James Gunn, Conversation Piece at the Royal Lodge, Windsor, 1950, oil on canvas, National Portrait Gallery, London. © National Portrait Gallery, London
Beatrice Johnson and Dorothy Wilding, Queen Elizabeth II, 1952, hand-colored bromide print, National Portrait Gallery, London. © William Hustler and Georgina Hustler / National Portrait Gallery, London
Beatrice Johnson and Dorothy Wilding, Queen Elizabeth II, 1952, hand-colored bromide print, National Portrait Gallery, London. © William Hustler and Georgina Hustler / National Portrait Gallery, London
Cecil Beaton, Queen Elizabeth II, 1953, semi-matte cibachrome print, National Portrait Gallery, London. © Cecil Beaton / Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Cecil Beaton, Queen Elizabeth II, 1953, semi-matte Cibachrome print, National Portrait Gallery, London. © Cecil Beaton / Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Incredible portraits of the British royalty from old masters like Hans Holbein the Younger and Sir Joshua Reynolds to more recent talented artists like Andy Warhol and Annie Leibovitz are also on view.

Some of the highlights of the MFA Houston’s ongoing show are an ornate breastplate that belonged to King Henry VIII, a ballgown worn by Diana, Princess of Wales, and “The Execution of Lady Jane Grey,” a stunning oil painting created by Paul Delaroche in his effort to imagine the beheading of the so-called “Nine Day Queen.”

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey painting created by Paul Delaroche
The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche (1833). Oil on canvas. National Gallery, London.

Info
“Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits from Holbein to Warhol”
Through January 27, 2019
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Caroline Wiess Law Building
1001 Bissonnet Street, Houston, TX 77005
Tel.: 713 639 7300
Tickets: Free to $23

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