Artist behind portrait of Queen paints her funeral procession

·2-min read

A Welsh artist who produced a portrait of the Queen in 2013 has painted her funeral procession in London.

Dan Llywelyn Hall was just 32 when he was commissioned to create the portrait of the Queen by the Welsh Rugby Union.

In a red dress and pearls, she sat for an hour in the White Drawing Room of Windsor Castle in November 2012.

The piece, measuring 5ft 4ins, was unveiled at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.

Cardiff-born Mr Hall travelled to Wellington Arch at London’s Hyde Park Corner on Sunday, ahead of Monday’s state funeral.

He painted and drew for 12 hours in the build-up to the moment the procession carrying the Queen reached the Arch, where the coffin was transferred to the state hearse for its journey to Windsor Castle.

Small Hours on the Sea of Flowers by Dan Llywelyn Hall
Small Hours on the Sea of Flowers by Dan Llywelyn Hall (Dan Llywelyn Hall/PA)

“Having sat with the Queen 10 years ago, I wanted to complete the story by combining my personal experience with this extraordinary display of public farewell,” Mr Hall told the PA news agency.

“The series of paintings made on the site at Wellington Arch during the final moment of the journey in London draw on a stage set like no other.

“The colours combined with precision of movement are intoxicating – I simply had to bear witness to it, breathe in the atmosphere and channel the feeling through into images.”

Mr Hall said there was no “formal role” for a procession painter at state funerals but there was a long history of artists doing so.

“You can tell from all the past funeral paintings down the ages there is an informality and a sense of being behind the ranks,” he added.

“I’d loved to have asked JMW Turner, Manet or El Greco for tips but this public affair doesn’t come round often.

“I painted and drew for 12 hours in the build-up and then rapidly depicted the final flourish of movement as the procession drew to a halt.”

Mr Hall said the Queen’s influence would still be “far-reaching” and his portrait would now stand with other works of monarchs through the centuries.

“My portrait has taken on its own life,” he added. “I’m confident I’m saying something unique about her very essence.

“I was dreading the moment of her death. She has been an anchor in deeply uncertain times. What’s remarkable is how the continuity has already started so seamlessly.”

Mr Hall will present a study from a series of his paintings from the funeral to the Royal Collection.