Leicester to showcase Richard III skull portraits

Striking skull portraits of King Richard III produced using University of Leicester X-rays

Dramatic new artwork of King Richard III inspired by the discovery by University of Leicester archaeologists is to go on display at an exhibition in London.

Contemporary artist Alexander de Cadenet will unveil the first in a new series of striking skull portraits featuring King Richard III at Andipa Gallery from 14 – 25 April 2016.

The portraits have been produced using University of Leicester X-ray scans of the last Plantagenet king following his discovery by archaeologists beneath a car park in Leicester in 2012. The images have been produced under University of Leicester licence.

A British artist working in various media, De Cadenet is most known for his skull portraits that are set within the tradition of Vanitas – still life artwork which includes various symbolic objects designed to remind the viewer of their mortality and of the worthlessness of worldly goods and pleasures. 

The discovery of Richard III is one of the most fascinating and historically significant discoveries of our time. For the University of Leicester to also have been able to prove the remains were his from the genetic information still present in the bones was a scientific triumph of extraordinary magnitude

De Cadenet said: “For me, Richard III is one of the ultimate skull portraits and I feel honoured to be able to present him using this concept as he is a part of our country’s history. I am extremely grateful to the University of Leicester for allowing me access to the X-ray scans, without which this creation would not be possible.

Dave Hall, Registrar and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Leicester, said: “Alexander’s bold and inventive interpretations of King Richard III break the mould of traditional portraiture by using University of Leicester X-ray scans with personalised elements relating to his character including a crown. 

“The discovery by the University has been represented in many different forms including college plays and graphic illustrations. We are pleased that it has had such a profound effect, not just on the scientific and historic communities, but in the arts as well.

“The discovery of Richard III is one of the most fascinating and historically significant discoveries of our time. For the University of Leicester to also have been able to prove the remains were his from the genetic information still present in the bones was a scientific triumph of extraordinary magnitude.”

Alexander de Cadenet will produce six different skull portrait versions of King Richard III. The first will be on display as part of his exhibition at Andipa Gallery, 162 Walton Street, London, SW3 2JL from 14 – 25 April.

For more information visit: https://andipa.com/exhibitions/alexander-de-cadenet/retrospective-book-launch-x-king-richard-iii-skull-portrait

 

All images courtesy of Alexander de Cadenet/ University of Leicester.