Collectors splash thousands on paintings of queen's trip
BUCKINGHAM Palace has one. As does Aras an Uachtarain.
And now so, too, do a select group of art collectors who last night snapped up seven oil paintings depicting Queen Elizabeth II's recent trip to Ireland.
The scenes from the historic state visit were completed by Irish artist Michael Hanrahan, who held the enviable position of being the only artist accredited to the trip, affording him unique vantages of the set-piece events last May.
Soon after the visit, Mr Hanrahan was contracted by Queen Elizabeth's private secretary, who requested that a painting depicting the queen and President McAleese during their wreath-laying ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance be included in Buckingham Palace's Royal Collection.
The seven paintings that went on sale at Whyte's auction house on St Stephen's Green, Dublin, last night fetched prices ranging between €1,800 and €6,480. The director of Whytes, Sarah Gates, said the paintings were very significant.
"They will definitely hold their value in years to come because they are the only oil paintings from the visit," she said.
Mr Hanrahan told the Irish Independent that watching the auction was very exciting.
"I am absolutely overwhelmed. There was tremendous interest from all over the world, but we don't know where the paintings will end up."