‘Extraordinarily rare’ Princess Diana portrait on display in London
A rare portrait of Diana, Princess of Wales, will be on public display for the first time after it was recently sold at auction.
The oil sketch, a preparatory study for a formal full-length portrait by American artist Nelson Shanks, was completed in 1994, three years before Diana’s death in Paris. It made headlines in January, when it was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $201,600 more than ten times its original estimate.
In the study, the late princess, whose eyes are cast downwards, appears deep in thought.
The sketch was one of several used to capture “authentic expressions” that would eventually be used as source material for the final portrait, according to a press release from Philip Mould & Company, the London-based gallery showcasing the work at the Masterpiece London Art Fair through July 6. June to 6 July.
She is depicted wearing Shanks’ original choice for an outfit, a Catherine Walker green velvet halter dress that she was also photographed in for a spread in Vanity Fair’s June 1997 issue.
She would later change into a more traditional white blouse and blue skirt for the final portrait. It was hung at the royal residence of Kensington Palace, and later in Diana’s family home in Althorp.