Leibovitz sticks to tradition for portrait of the Queen
The photographer who captured a naked John Lennon hugging a clothed Yoko Ono, Clint Eastwood bound in rope and a nude Demi Moore in late pregnancy glory has divided critics with her latest work: a traditional, regal portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
Buckingham Palace and U.S. photographer Annie Leibovitz released on Wednesday the newest official portrait of the Queen, commissioned to mark her impending visit to the U.S.
In the image released Wednesday — one of several set for release in the coming days —the monarch is dressed in a fur stole, champagne-coloured evening gown and diamond tiara. Sitting in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, the Queen looks wistfully out an open window.
In an interview with BBC Radio, the Washington Post's culture critic derided the formal portrait as having "all the personality of a marble bust of George Washington."
However, others in the U.K. couldn't help comparing the Queen's contemplative gaze to actress Helen Mirren's celebrated and sympathetic portrayal of the monarch in last year's film The Queen.
Leibovitz, best known for her dramatic celebrity portraiture for the likes of Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, conducted her photo shoot with the Queen in March.
At the time, the internationally known photographer said she wanted to take a simple, traditional portrait and that she found inspiration in the work of British photographer Cecil Beaton, who captured images of the Queen Mother.
The Queen and Prince Philip will visit the U.S. from May 3-8. She is scheduled to stop in Virginia to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, and attend the Kentucky Derby before travelling to Washington.
With files from the Associated Press.