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Masterpiece a minute

Most of the paintings in our forthcoming exhibition, Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace, are securely dated and attributed; mostly we know which monarch bought them. But what makes them important? What do they still have to offer? Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, discusses four possible qualities which were valued by the makers of these works and which can still offer an insight into these paintings today: Realism; Use of Materials; Design; Expression. Are we missing something? What do you think makes a masterpiece?

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.