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Study of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on her Coronation Day

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Study of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on her Coronation Day - 21 x 15.5" Original oil on Panel.

A message from the Ashot with Regards to this piece and in cherished memory of Queen Elizabeth II

(1926 - 2022)
Two Princesses of Denmark — two sisters, Alexandra and Dagmar — married two Emperors who until that moment had not been kinsmen. The future King Edward VII of England (Emperor of India) married Alexandra in 1863; the future Emperor of Russia (and father of its last Emperor) married Dagmar in 1866.

The sisters were close and their Empires became inextricably bound into a single Extended Family concern, as a result.

The great disaster of the First World War brought about the destruction of the Russian Empire by Bolshevik Marxist revolutionaries in 1917.

Nevertheless, there were important silver linings to this calamity, namely the independence of Poland and Finland that regained their full sovereignty out of the ruins of the Russian Imperial state.

Safe in their prudently managed and well-educated British realm, the descendants of Queen Alexandra continue to reign in the United Kingdom. The British Empire wisely reinvented itself as the British Commonwealth, continuing to adapt to the needs of every generation.

The grandchildren of Dagmar, however, suffered a tragic fate.

The world watches in horror as the unraveling of Russian civilization continues in the wanton aggression unleashed by the current Kremlin leadership, disrupting the lives of everyone on earth just as we all, together, emerge from the unprecedented hardships imposed by a global pandemic the likes of which no one had ever seen before in recorded human history.

But the survivors of the shipwreck of Russian society that began in 1917, and continues today, certainly remember, and continue to honor, the close family ties that existed between the two monarchies, Britain’s and Russia’s, at the time of Imperial Russia’s destruction, that was in some ways, unfortunately, entirely self-inflicted.

Ashot was born in 1951 in Armenia; Armenia had been a part of the Russian Empire and as such was therefore part of Stalin’s USSR when Ashot was born. It was a dark time of persecution for anyone who rejected mental and physical enslavement by the Communist Soviet system. In Ashot’s case, the difficulties and dangers began from the moment he started school, and continued until the day he was able to leave, in July 1990, to join his American wife and children in California.

Ashot’s own mother, Olga, had been born in the 1930s into the Armenian princely Shakhumyantz family — a family that itself saw martyrs who defied the Bolshevik revolutionaries, and suffered the consequences of being manifestly and vehemently anti-Communist, as Ashot always was and still is. As the world took note of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee approaching, Ashot felt it was only natural to express his own profound appreciation of the enduring British Monarchy, his artistic spiritual allegiance to that great surviving dynasty whose own Russian cousins had fought both Soviet and Nazi Totalitarianism and died in that valiant battle, in time for the 2002 celebrations of Queen Elizabeth the Second’s historic 50 years on the British throne.

As an artist, Ashot felt a particular spiritual closeness to the Queen in her capacity as a pre-eminent connoisseur of all the master works of Western European Art. Indeed, Queen Elizabeth is famous for the exemplary care that she has taken of her fantastic art collection, one of history’s greatest — the Royal Collection.

Her son, King Charles III, himself an accomplished painter in watercolor, necessarily will continue in her footsteps in this regard.

And it is also right to mention that Queen Elizabeth’s husband who predeceased her, Prince Philip, himself painted with passion and exhilaration for as long as he could, to the very end of his long life.

It is therefore logical that the British Royal Family in its adherence and commitment to all these traditional values of European monarchs and their families not only earned Ashot’s intellectual admiration, but inspired him to set aside the better part of a year of his own artistic output to duly pay tribute to the person of this extraordinary British Queen.

Ashot invested himself in diligent research and study, not only perusing every published book of photographs of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (whom he also painted in this effort, knowing how much the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh loved each other), but also studying video and film footage.

Biographies were read and studied, to gain a deeper understanding of habits and character traits.

The great royal portraits of the past, most notably by Van Dyck, were also studied carefully and at length, together with Buckingham Palace interiors, that were faithfully recreated, and details of the Queen’s Coronation dress.

Multiple sketches and studies of the royal subjects were inevitably part of Ashot’s creative process. He took enormous care to select the correct poses, to meticulously reproduce the details of the Queen’s regal raiment and Prince Philip’s military uniform.

The result was truly spectacular.

Twenty-two works in this series of portraits of Queen Elizabeth the Second and her Prince Consort, the Duke of Edinburgh, were then carefully transmitted in time for the beginning of the Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002.  Here is a small selection of portraits from the Queen Elizabeth II collection.

Queen Elizabeth II Collection of Portraits by Ashot

Ashot had no expectation of hearing anything from Buckingham Palace, given the immensity of the inevitable flow of tributes that everyone understood had to have inundated the Royal Household at this time.

Remarkably, however, a number of letters followed, graciously accepting the gift and complimenting Ashot with the discerning words of a truly expert art critic. It goes without saying that this exquisite act of kindness, of recognizing his merits and receiving the results of such devoted effort on his part in precisely the spirit in which he had made it, touched the artist more than any other acknowledgement and praise he had ever received, even from such distinguished and remarkable contemporaries of the Queen as Nancy Reagan and Raisa Gorbacheva, each of whom had made a point of taking the time to articulate their warm approval, understanding, interest in and admiration of his oeuvre.

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In this period of national mourning, as Queen Elizabeth’s and Prince Philip’s son, King Charles the Third, prepares for his own Coronation and Anointment, Ashot and all his family have of course expressed their own condolences to the Royal Family and to all who are bereaved by the loss on September 8, 2022, of the paragon that Queen Elizabeth the Second was, in so many ways.

Now 71, having endured and survived several bouts of Covid, Ashot has a level-headed view of his own mortality. Each day is precious. And in due course, when his own earthly journey is complete, more can and shall be said about this group of Ashot’s own works that Art Lover and devoted Curator of Masterpieces Queen Elizabeth inspired, and this fascinating period in his life, that led him to move to Europe and to live happily in London for many years. "


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Ashot is a world-renowned artist currently in his early 70's. 

Ashot’s early development as an artist took place in Yerevan, Armenia.  He was recognized while still in high school by venerated elders as a young man with an extraordinary gift.  He painted his first commission piece at the age of 15.  Under the mentoring of Yervand Cotchard, a celebrated painter and sculptor who had been active in the Picasso and Leger’s artistic circle, Ashot gained artistic knowledge, technique and wisdom that influenced the direction of his career.  Cotchard was no friend of the Soviet authorities, and in this area, his advice was very useful, because it gave Ashot the strength to follow his natural inclination and resist membership in any of the official (i.e. Communist Party-affiliated) organizations that provided artists with whatever they needed: studios, commissions, exhibition opportunities, etc.  Instead, the path Ashot chose was the path of the pure, uncompromising artist who served only Art, relied entirely on his own skill, and refused to adapt his art to suit an ideology that did not respect his own aesthetic expertise.  In 1990 Ashot immigrated to the United States and later become a naturalized citizen. 

Ashot’s career primarily grew out of the San Francisco region with major shows in Los Angeles.  In 2005, Buckingham Palace acquired five of his paintings.  Then in 2006, as Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 80th birthday, Buckingham Palace acquired another 13 works, including several impressive, large portraits of Her Majesty at the time of her Coronation, and of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

In August of 2005, Ashot introduced himself to the owner's of Gallery 1870 and presented his art collection.  A warm professional relationship immediately sprang up between the galleries.  At the present time, Gallery 1870 is the only gallery with whom Ashot currently displays his original art.

Portraitures by Ashot:  Archbishops, 45 museum-quality portraits, including one member of the Eisenhower Administration, Prince Michael of Kent acquired portrait of his mother for Kensington Palace, and, of course, the Queen Elizabeth the Second collection.

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* SALES TAX: California state sales tax is applicable to California residents.  Any orders shipped outside of the state of California will not be charged California state sales tax.

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