Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures

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The office of the Surveyor of the King's/Queen's Pictures, in the Royal Collection Department of the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom, is responsible for the care and maintenance of the royal collection of pictures owned by the Sovereign in an official capacity – as distinct from those owned privately and displayed at Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle and elsewhere. The office has only been full-time since 1972. It now operates in a professional capacity with a staff of a dozen people.

Royal Collection Art collection of the British Royal Family

The Royal Collection of the British Royal family is the largest private art collection in the world.

A monarch is a sovereign head of state in a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority and power in the state, or others may wield that power on behalf of the monarch. Typically a monarch either personally inherits the lawful right to exercise the state's sovereign rights or is selected by an established process from a family or cohort eligible to provide the nation's monarch. Alternatively, an individual may become monarch by conquest, acclamation or a combination of means. A monarch usually reigns for life or until abdication.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Contents

Although the office dates from 1625, there has always been someone responsible for pictures in the Royal Household. Notable recent office-holders have included Sir Lionel Cust (1901–1927), Sir Kenneth Clark (1934–1944), Professor Anthony Blunt (1945–1972), one of the infamous Cambridge Five, and Sir Oliver Millar (1972–1988). The current Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures is Desmond Shawe-Taylor, appointed in 2005. [1]

Sir Lionel Henry Cust was a British art historian, courtier and museum director. He was director of the National Portrait Gallery from 1895 to 1909 and co-edited The Burlington Magazine from 1909 to 1919. He was the father of Lionel George Archer Cust.

Kenneth Clark Art historian, broadcaster and museum director

Kenneth Mackenzie Clark, Baron Clark was a British art historian, museum director, and broadcaster. After running two important art galleries in the 1930s and 1940s, he came to wider public notice on television, presenting a succession of programmes on the arts during the 1950s and 1960s, culminating in the Civilisation series in 1969.

Anthony Blunt British art historian and soviet spy

Anthony Frederick Blunt, styled as Sir Anthony Blunt, KCVO, from 1956 to 1979, was a leading British art historian who in 1964, after being offered immunity from prosecution, confessed to having been a Soviet spy.

List of Surveyors of the King's/ Queen's Pictures

Desmond Philip Shawe-Taylor LVO became Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures in 2005. He succeeded Christopher Lloyd on Lloyd's retirement.

Christopher Lloyd is a British art historian and was Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures (1988–2005).

Sir Oliver Nicholas Millar was a British art historian. He was an expert on 17th-century British painting, and a leading authority on Anthony van Dyck in particular. He served in the Royal Household for 41 years from 1947, becoming Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures in 1972. He was the first Director of the Royal Collection from 1987. He served in both offices until his retirement in 1988.

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References

  1. "Press Release: Appointment of new Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures, The Royal Collection". Royal Collection. 2004-12-17. Retrieved 2008-05-22.
  2. "No. 27291". The London Gazette . 5 March 1901. p. 1576.

Further reading

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