She may be the Queen of the nation’s hearts but Her Majesty The Queen is set to become Queen of Arts on Tuesday 20th March as she pays a visit to the Royal Academy of Arts in Central London. Her Majesty will mark the completion of a major redevelopment of the site.
The Royal Academy of Arts was founded in 1768 and has been the voice of art and artists for 250 years. It is an independent charity led by eminent artists and architects – known as the Royal Academicians – and promotes the appreciation and practice of the visual arts and architecture through exhibitions, education and debate.
During her time at the Royal Academy of Arts, Her Majesty The Queen will take a tour of and officially open the Burlington Gardens building. During the tour, The Queen will meet with those involved in the construction process which coincidentally has been completed in the Academy’s 250th year. The first painting to be installed in the new spaces will be unveiled by The Queen ahead of the full public opening of the new Royal Academy on May 19th.
One of the highlights of The Queen’s visit to the Royal Academy will be her viewing of the Charles I: King and Collector exhibition. The exhibition reunites for the first time the masterpieces of a magnificent collection. During his reign King Charles I acquired some of the finest works from some of the finest artists from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century including Titian, Mantegna, Holbein, Van Dyck and Rubens.
Following King Charles I’s execution in 1649, many of the pieces were sold off and scattered across Europe. Following the Restoration of the Monarchy, King Charles II retrieved many of the works though some still remain in Europe in museums such as the Louvre and the Prado.