Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Egg portrait gift for the Queen

An ornate wooden egg which His Excellency the Ambassador of Ukraine Mr Volodymyr Khandogiy, presented as a gift to the Queen

The Queen has been presented with an unusual piece of artwork - a portrait of herself painted on an egg.

The image was based on Sir Cecil Beaton's iconic 1953 photographic picture of the monarch in her coronation regalia.

It was a gift from Volodymyr Khandogiy, Ukraine's new Ambassador to the UK, and presented during an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace where the diplomat presented his credentials on taking up his post.

Mr Khandogiy replaced Ihor Kharchenko, who left his job in the summer, and gave the artwork to mark a symbolic link between the UK and the Ukraine.

Egg painting is an ancient Ukrainian folk tradition and the unique wooden Object D'art took two unknown artists 12 months to make using oil paints and gold leaf.

The pair used the same oil painting techniques first introduced by Leonardo Da Vinci in the 15th century and added 20 fine layers of lacquer to protect the egg.

The Object D'art is the second gift the Queen has received during audiences or meetings in recent months.

In October Chile's President Sebastian Pinera presented the Queen with a piece of rock from the bottom of the San Jose mine, where 33 mines were trapped for 69 days.

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