The Royal Painting at Woburn Abbey is a masterpiece in the history of art. The portrait of the queen, which was once painted with a blue background, is a stark contrast to the background of the painting at Woburn Abbey. The paint samples show that the artist used glass-based pigment that discolours and fades over time. The blue colour also would have made the yellow lettering ‘Elizabeth Regina’ stand out more prominently.
Why Was the Royal Painting Repainted With a Blue background?
The portrait of Queen Elizabeth II once had a vivid blue background. However, paint samples indicate that the artist used glass-based pigment, which fades over time and stains the oil medium. The resulting ochre colour would have been more pronounced against the yellow lettering, ‘Elizabeth Regina’. This has been controversial since it undermines the artistic integrity of the portrait. So, why was the royal painting repainted with a blue background?