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Mario Testino: British Royal Portraits

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Start Date:3rd October 2012
End Date:3rd February 2013
Mario Testino: British Royal Portraits

Photographs of the Royal Family, taken by Mario Testino between 2003 and 2010 will be shown together for the first time at the National Portrait Gallery in October.

The eight portraits on display include the official engagement portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge taken in London in 2010. The earliest image on display is of HRH The Prince of Wales, from 2003 which was commissioned as an official portrait and another of HRH Prince William, taken in the same year to mark his 21st birthday. Other early photographs on display include HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH Prince William and HRH Prince Henry, commissioned for their official Christmas card in 2004. The official commission to mark HRH Prince Henry’s 21st birthday will be on display as well as a portrait of HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, commissioned by British Vogue in 2006 and another photograph of this royal couple in their car, taken in 2010, from Testino’s personal work. The display will coincide with the exhibition Mario Testino, British Royal Portraits on display at the Museum of Fine Art (MFA) in Boston from the 21 October 2012.

Mario Testino, born in Peru in 1954, is one of the outstanding photographers of his generation. Perhaps best known for his work in fashion photography, which has been featured across the globe in magazines from Vogue to Vanity Fair, as well in advertising campaigns for clients including Burberry, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace. His subjects include stars from the worlds of fashion, cinema, royalty and music and include Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow, Diana, Princess of Wales, Robbie Williams and Madonna. In 1981, when standing with the crowds in London celebrating the marriage of HRH the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer, Testino took his first spontaneous royal portrait when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and her grandson, Prince Edward, passed by. Since then he has taken many celebrated formal photographs of many members of the House of Windsor

In 2002 the National Portrait Gallery opened the major exhibition Portraits by Mario Testino which received 168,069 visitors, which is still the highest attendance for a paid for photography exhibition at the Gallery. The exhibition travelled to Milan, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Tokyo, Mexico City and Lima. In 2010 his work was exhibited at the Museo Thyseen-Bornemisza in Madrid and his first museum exhibition in the US, In Your Face, spanning his 30 year career will open on the 21 October at the MFA Boston, complemented by British Royal Portraits. Testino is the recipient of many international awards including most significantly, the Grand Cross Order of Merit, the highest honour in Peru in 2010 and the Gold Medal from the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute for his significant role in strengthening the relationship between the Spanish-speaking world and the United States.

Mario Testino says, ‘I have a very special attachment with the National Portrait Gallery since they hosted Portraits, the first museum exhibition of my work in England in 2002. I am honoured that they are now exhibiting a selection of portraits of the British royal family in this very special year. It is an honour and a privilege to be part of the history of this country through documenting the royal family and I am delighted to be able to share these pictures with the NPG and its visitors.’

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Images from Mario Testino: British Royal Portraits

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