Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy

HM Queen Elizabeth II: A Commonwealth Portrait Commission by Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy

Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy’s portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth, commissioned to mark Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee, was unveiled to widespread critical acclaim on Commonwealth Day, Monday, 11 March 2002. Speaking at the ceremony, Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon commented: "We are delighted with the painting’s inspired depiction of the Commonwealth, and its dignified portrayal of the Queen, who has achieved so much in nurturing and encouraging our family of nations."

The full-length portrait shows the Queen standing at the window of a room in Buckingham Palace. Beyond the balcony is a composite view of some of the best-known sights in the Commonwealth: The Sydney Opera House, Australia; the Houses of Parliament in the UK; the Taj Mahal, India; Great Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe; the Kourion Amphitheatre, Cyprus; Montego Bay, Jamaica; the Kasubi Tombs, Uganda; King Njoya’s Palace in the ancient Kingdom of Bamun, Cameroon; a First Nations totem pole from British Columbia, Canada; and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The portrait was completed in the artist’s studio in Suffolk, UK, in January 2002, after five sittings at Buckingham Palace.

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The artist observes: "The Queen is a great communicator. She’s observant, humorous, interesting and generous with her time. I hope I have succeeded in capturing some of these qualities in my painting. I also wanted to refer to the past and the present, and to show that the strength of the Commonwealth lies in its cultural diversity. I decided the best way was to show different places, buildings and monuments united in an imaginary panorama."

Chinwe was born in Awka, Anambara State, Nigeria, and took up painting as a profession in 1988. Much of her work is in pastels and oils, and her subjects range from portraiture and landscape, to pictures which capture the traditions and cultures of the African continent. She has exhibited widely and her work is represented in public and private collections in France, Grenada, Kenya, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, United Kingdom, and U.S.A.

Working in collaboration with the master-printer Stanley Jones of the Curwen Chilford Print Studio, Cambridge UK, Chinwe has produced a special limited edition original colour lithograph of The Queen. Based on an early pastel study drawn at Buckingham Palace, this impressive print is available in an acid-free mount at £200 plus VAT. To reserve a copy or for further information on the artist, including enquiries about commissioning a portrait, please contact us.

"This stunning portrait … is one of the most unusual ever" The Mirror
"This is a brave attempt at a grand portrait" The Sunday Times

Related Links - Purchase Prints of Chinwe's work
BBC - Suffolk Features - Suffolk artist unveils portrait of the Queen
Rumours Magazine - Cover Story on Chinwe
The Royal Commonwealth Society - Art Exhibitions - Art Gallery
Young Igbos - Artist, Painter, Patron - Chinwe Roy
African Culture News