Cheeky Royal Art

Royal art, with its grand portraits and stately sculptures, usually strikes a note of seriousness and tradition. Yet, hidden in the corners of museums and palaces are playful and childish works of creativity that show a lighter side of royalty. This post delves into the world where royal decorum meets whimsical mischief.

Two of my favorite pieces on this trip were a distorted portrait of a young King Edward VI and Queen Mary’s Dollhouse.

This portrait of Edward VI was painted when he was nine, a year before he became king. He is shown in distorted perspective (anamorphosis), a technique designed to display the virtuosity of the painter and amaze the spectator. When viewed from the viewing hole to the right it is seen in the correct perspective. It was probably done by an artist looking to entertain the nine-year-old prince.

Queen Mary’s Dollhouse at Windsor Castle is not just a childhood toy but a remarkable work of art presented to Queen Mary when she was 44 years old, in the early 1920s. This dollhouse is an extraordinary showcase of royal life on a miniature scale, featuring working plumbing and electricity, fully stocked wine cellars, and tiny books written by prominent authors of the era. It represents a blend of majestic elegance and intricate craftsmanship, designed to capture the imagination and offer a playful glimpse into the domestic lives of the royals.

Adding fun and imagination to art truly makes it more enjoyable and brings it to life. This kind of art reaches out to everyone, young and old, showing that creativity doesn’t have to stick to old ways—it can be lively, teaching, and delighting us as it changes and grows. This playful style not only makes art easy to love but also pulls us deeper into it, urging us all to see art as a lively chat that moves and grows with us.

This was a very quick thing. Took 20 minutes. Not edited much but I enjoyed it. Here’s the chat.