Get ready, Houston, for art fit for a king — when the Museum of Fine Arts welcomes royalty to town in the new exhibition Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits from Holbein to Warhol.
The exhibition, spanning five centuries of royal portraiture, contains a treasure of painting, sculpture, and photography masterworks dating from the first monarch of the House of Tudor, Henry VII, all the way to Elizabeth II. When exploring this vast exhibition of 150 objects, visitors to the MFAH can expect a royal audience with the likenesses of King Henry VIII, King George I, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, and Prince William. Fresh off the Hamilton tour of his lost colonies, King George III will also make an appearance, or at least Allan Ramsay’s majestic King George III portrait will honor us with its presence.
For the rarest of royal treats, spare a bow for her majesty Queen Elizabeth I, the masterwork “Ditchley Portrait” by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, which has never crossed the pond to journey to the United States, until now.
Tudors to Windsors will give viewers a history tour not only of the great faces of British power and aristocracy, but also an overview of some the art world’s greatest portraitists, from Hans Holbein, Sir Peter Lely, and Sir Joshua Reynolds, to the modern masters like Cecil Beaton, Andy Warhol, and Annie Leibovitz.
The exhibition draws from the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London, which has never before allowed such a large number of its masterpieces to travel.
“It is a privilege to partner with the National Portrait Gallery in organizing this landmark exhibition,” commented Gary Tinterow, MFAH director, in a statement. “Their unique collection provides visitors an incomparable experience of Britain’s royal historical narrative and the opportunity to view these legendary personalities face-to-face.”
The MFAH has also secured additional loans for the exhibition from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Palazzo Barberini, Rome; the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid; as well as the Snowdon Archive and National Gallery, London.
Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits from Holbein to Warhol will run October 7, 2018–January 27, 2019 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St.