An "Extraordinarily Rare" Portrait of Princess Diana Is Going On Display For the Very First Time

It was completed back in 1994.

Time is running out to see an "extraordinarily rare" portrait of Princess Diana in London. According to People, Philip Mould & Company's gallery is displaying Diana, Princess of Wales as part of its Masterpiece Art Fair 2022 exhibition. Royal fans can see the Nelson Shanks oil painting until July 6.

In the painting, the late Princess Diana wears a halter-style gown by Catherine Walker. The outfit was part of the lead-up to Diana's 1997 Vanity Fair profile and photo session, though she would go on to appear in the magazine wearing a button-up shirt. The magazine notes that unlike typical royal portraits, this specific work shows Diana looking down, with the light hitting a single earring and her bare collarbones.

Princess Diana
Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage

"As royal painted portraits go, it is extraordinarily rare for an artist to capture both the public and private character simultaneously," gallerist Philip Mould said in a release, according to CNN. "Shank's sketch uniquely fuses Diana's glamour with the affecting pathos of her final years. We felt it belonged in a British collection and are delighted to be able to display it in her home city."

Before this exhibition, the painting was displayed at Kensington Palace, the home Diana shared with Princes William and Harry. Later, it was moved to the family estate at Althorp House in Northamptonshire. Earlier this year, in January, the painting sold for $201,600 — 10 times its projected price — at Sotheby's.

People adds that Diana had more than 30 sittings at Shanks' studio to capture the painting, which would go on to serve as a preparatory study for a more formal, full-length work.

Related Articles