Queen Elizabeth II 334 (Trial Proof) by Andy Warhol is part of the Reigning Queens series produced in 1985. The portfolio consists of sixteen screenprints. Warhol depicts these four female monarchs in their own right, rather than as women who were married to a king. Warhol also did another series of Reigning Queens (Royal Edition), in which the images were accented with diamond dust. Warhol’s intense pop rendering of Queen Elizabeth displays female empowerment through the use of bright red surrounding the figure. The loud and vivid use of color sparks attention to the subject and creates a solid movement around the portrait drawing attention to her dark brown eyes and gentle facial expression. Yellow is added to accent jewelry pieces Queen Elizabeth displays along with a light blue sash shown sitting on her shoulder. The gradient style composition of color from top to bottom allows the eye to go back and forth between solid and bold color toward the top of the print, to a softer hue at the bottom of the print.
Queen Elizabeth II 334 Trial Proof as Part of Andy Warhol’s Larger Body of Work
Completed by Warhol in 1985, the Reigning Queens series includes Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Ntombi Twala of Swaziland. Andy Warhol created the Reigning Queens series during the mid-1980s, arguably his most prolific period. During this time, Warhol was forming bonds with a number of younger artists in the New York art scene including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel and David Salle. Warhol saw a re-emergence of critical and financial success during this period of his life.