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 spread among more than thirteen Royal residences and former residences

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

A royal household or imperial household is the residence and administrative headquarters in ancient and post-classical monarchies, and papal household for popes, and formed the basis for the general government of the country as well as providing for the needs of the sovereign and their relations.

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.

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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), 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, known 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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The office of Surveyor of the King's/Queen's Works of Art 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 works of art 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 Royal Collection Trust is a British charity established in 1993 by Queen Elizabeth II under the chairmanship of Charles, Prince of Wales to manage the Royal Collection. It is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, No. 2713536. It is a Registered Charity No. 1016972, Registered Office: York House, St James's Palace, London SW1A 1BQ.

Sir Geoffrey de Bellaigue was Surveyor of the Queen's Works of Art from 1972 to 1996. His was the first full-time appointment to the office, and he did much to professionalise the Royal Collection department after being made the Director of the Royal Collection in 1988.

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Peter Lely 17th-century Dutch painter

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The Master of the Robes was an office in the British Royal Household. He was responsible for the King's robes at times such as a coronation, the annual Order of the Garter service and the State Opening of Parliament. Since the reign of King Edward VII, the office has only been filled for coronations. Below is a list of known office holders:

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Abraham van der Doort Dutch artist and curator, keeper of Charles Is art collections

Abraham van der Doort was a Dutch artist. As Keeper of Charles I's art collections, he was the first Surveyor of the King's Pictures.

Peregrine Bertie (senior) British politician

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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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