Andy Warhol – Queen Elizabeth II from 'Reigning Queens'

4 min read  ·  09 Dec 2022

HENI is delighted to offer a selection of the most sought-after Warhol editions, through our online secondary market platform HENI Leviathan.

To mark the end of a momentous year, we turn to a reflection on the late monarch’s international standing and unparalleled status by one of the most iconic artists of the 20th century, Andy Warhol. Produced towards the end of his career, Warhol attempts to allow viewers a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth’s rarefied world. More information on the editions can be found below on HENI Leviathan.

These fascinating portraits of the late Queen Elizabeth II were created by Warhol in 1985, as part of his 'Reigning Queens' series of screen prints dedicated to four female monarchs ruling at the time of production, exploring themes of female power and social hierarchy.

As in his other iconic series of portraits, these royal subjects combine Warhol’s trademark ‘glamour shot’ with the norms of official portraiture. For the artist, who was obsessed with notions of beauty and fame, the Queen assumes the same double role of political symbol and cultural icon as demonstrated in Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964), which shattered records this year, fetching the highest price paid for an American artwork sold at auction.

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Queen Elizabeth II F.S. 334A (Royal Edition AP) from Reigning Queens, Andy Warhol, 1985

For a limited time, HENI Leviathan Marketplace presents an exceptionally rare Artist Proof of 5 from the 'Royal Edition' set, which features Queen Elizabeth II enriched by ‘diamond dust’, only added to Warhol’s most prized portraits.

HENI also has on offer a Trial Proof, produced in the course of Warhol adjusting and developing the final image. It is, therefore, a one-of-a-kind, ultra-rare artwork, unveiling Warhol’s artistic process and aesthetic choices.

The final edition, featured on HENI Leviathan Marketplace, sees the royal bust juxtaposed with a deep blue background, evoking the iconic colours of the British flag.

Portraits from two of these series were included in the exhibition The Queen: Portraits of a Monarch held at Windsor Castle in 2012 and were subsequently acquired for the Royal Collection.

Warhol remains an icon of the contemporary art world for his innovative approach to mechanical and silk screen printing techniques. His unique portraits of Queen Elizabeth convey a sense of dynamism and animation that perfectly encapsulates the late monarch’s inscrutable personality.