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© Andy Warhol / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

Andy Warhol: Reigning Queens

Created in 1985, “Reigning Queens” is Andy Warhol’s largest portfolio of silkscreen prints. The series features 16 colorful prints portraying four ruling queens at that time: Queen Elizabeth II of England, Queen Beatrix of Netherlands, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, and Queen Ntombi Twala of Swaziland. Notably, “Reigning Queens” only includes queens who assumed the throne by birthright, not through marriage. Warhol, who was fascinated by universal images, based these silkscreens on the queens’ official state portraits, choosing these depictions because they were often mass-produced on stamps and currency. In 2012, England’s Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 60 years on the throne by buying four of Warhol’s portraits of her for the Royal Collection, bringing the Pop artist one step closer to his notorious wish: “I want to be as famous as the Queen of England.”

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