A portrait of Her Majesty The Queen has gone on public display at Westminster Abbey as part of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s coronation.
In a rare act of acquisition, Westminster Abbey has acquired the painting: The Coronation Theatre: Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Australian-born London-based artist Ralph Heimans for its collection.
The painting, created in the artist’s South East London studio, was officially unveiled in London in 2012 for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and then exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra until the end of March 2013.
Momart was chosen as the art logistics partner for the exhibition and initially asked to organise a basic collection, packing and shipping between the artist’s studio and the venue in Canberra, Australia. However, after discussing the complexity of the move, the job has expanded to include the site work such as the removal from the artist’s studio and additional packing as well as further London transport movements for viewing and photography.
We have undertaken a site visit to meet the artist, discuss and plan the best route out of the studio, and the best method for packing. Due to the size of the canvas, a special set of two travel frames and a specially adapted museum specification case were constructed to allow for the save movement and shipping of the artwork.
After the painting's return from Canberra to London, Momart has been involved in the transport and installation of the 9 x 11ft oil on canvas work at the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey.
Ralph Heimans commented: “I could not have imagined a more fitting home for my portrait of The Queen than Westminster Abbey, the beauty of which was a great source of inspiration in the conception of the work. I am deeply honoured by this acquisition and feel that the significance of the portrait's narrative will have its strongest resonance in this remarkable setting.”
About the artist
Born in Sydney, Ralph Heimans studied Fine Arts and Pure Mathematics at the University of Sydney and later attended the Julian Ashton Art School. By the late 90's he had established himself as one of Australia's foremost young portrait painters, with three works in the National Portrait Gallery. Heimans moved to France following a commission from the European Court and demand for his large-scale group portraits led to commissions in London, New York and Paris, exhibiting in venues such as the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Hotel de Ville in Paris. Ralp Heimans currently lives and works in London.