Celebrating the Coronation: Meet the artists behind the specially commissioned artworks

April 27, 2023

Royal Drawing School alumni artists have been commissioned to create artworks to celebrate the coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla, to be exhibited at Christie's, King Street. Buy a limited edition print and support the School's charitable programmes.

The exhibition offers a variety of perspectives, rich in observation, imagination and storytelling. These commissioned works on paper are exhibited alongside a selection of over 50 drawings by fellow Drawing Year alumni that form part of His Majesty’s archive of drawings from the School. Upon graduation one drawing is chosen from each student to be included in the archive as a record of their study. There are now over 500 drawings in the collection.  

The exhibition will also feature a work by Royal Drawing School alumna Shana P Lohrey originally commissioned for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, given as a present to His Majesty in 2022. The drawing evokes the pomp and pageantry of the Queen’s Coronation in 1953. 

Specially Commissioned Artworks


Arjuna Gunarathne, Joyous Celebration, pen and ink on paper, 90 x 120cm, 2023 

Arjuna Gunarathne, Royal Drawing School alumni 2018

Arjuna Gunarathne was born in Sri Lanka in 1976 and is a visual artist who lives and works in London. His art practice uses drawing and painting, where he combines spontaneous expressions of his private, personal worlds with cultural and social experiences. In his art works, he presents the ongoing journey of his life through an intimate engagement with vigorous colours, textures and forms.  

“My work combines Western and Eastern disciplines with traditional and contemporary practices and materials. I am inspired by the community that I live in - London is a cosmopolitan city; people communicate and celebrate with each other in many ways. I have seen and experienced how people celebrated royal jubilees and weddings over the past two decades in London. From picnics to street parties, decorations on the roads, food and souvenirs in shops and TV programmes at home. I have recalled these experiences in Joyous Celebration.”  

Limited Edition Giclée Print: Edition of 50, A1 paper size (595 x 841mm) printed on 310gsm Hahnemühle German Etching - £350 per print. Buy here


Christopher Green, Westminster Abbey, The Spring Coronation, ink on paper, 163 x 207cm, 2023 


Christopher Green, Westminster Abbey, Anointing The King, ink on paper, 95 x 135cm, 2023 

Christopher Green, Royal Drawing School alumni 2008 

Christopher Green lives and works in London. His practice involves drawing directly from observation, usually out and about in the city. He creates large drawings over a long period of time, when a spot in a park or by the river becomes like an outdoor studio. It is his way of being somewhere and feeling connected, looking for relationships between things in brush and ink or pencil on paper. Christopher has been the recipient of awards including the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize (Frist Prize), exhibits regularly in group and solo shows and has completed a number of commissions. 

“The Abbey north door and rose window revealed by the trees in winter was my inspiration for this drawing. A raised patch of grass outside the Supreme Court offered a secure vantage point, with a good feeling of space. I worked here every day the weather allowed over three months.” 

Limited Edition Giclée Print: (Westminster Abbey, The Spring Coronation) : Edition of 50, A1 paper size (595 x 841mm) printed on 310gsm Hahnemühle German Etching - £350 per print  Buy here

Limited Edition Giclée Print: (Westminster Abbey, Anointing the King) : Edition of 50, A2 paper size (420 x 595mm) printed on 310gsm Hahnemühle German Etching - £230 per print  Buy here


Sophie Charalambous, The Pearly Kings and Queens Pageant, pen, ink and watercolour on khaki paper, 56 x 76cm, 2023 

Sophie Charalambous, Royal Drawing School alumni 2009 

Sophie Charalambous is a London based visual artist, working primarily on paper between drawing, watercolour and mono-printing. In recent years she has been exploring imagery around her Greek Cypriot/British heritage inspired by flora and fauna, folk art, ancient history and festivals as well as the landscape of the Mediterranean and the UK. Sophie won the Jerwood Printmaking Today Prize 2020 and the Sunday Times Watercolour Prize 2018 she exhibits regularly and has work in both public and private collections in the UK and internationally. 

“The Pearly Kings and Queens Pageant is a reimagining of a large watercolour I made in 2015 which was inspired by the Harvest Festival celebrations at St Paul's Church Covent Garden where the Pearlies gather and raise money for charity every year. They are a folk tradition of London and "alternative" East End royalty. I love their aesthetic, the black and white costumes, which are handmade and personalised. I like the feeling of tradition, pageantry and occasion. They will certainly be celebrating the coronation.” 

Limited Edition Giclée Print: Edition of 50, A2 paper size (420 x 595mm) printed on 310gsm Hahnemühle German Etching - £230 per print  Buy here


Christabel MacGreevy, The Lion & The Unicorn, May 2023, charcoal, pastel and gouache with collage on paper, 62 x 73cm, 2023 

Christabel MacGreevy, Royal Drawing School alumni 2017 

Christabel MacGreevy is an interdisciplinary artist concerned with archetypes, communication and memory, explored through the interplay of the personal and universal. She studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, London and Ecole de Beaux Arts, Paris before completing her postgraduate diploma from The Royal Drawing School. Working in paint, ceramics, sculpture, and textiles, with a practice that centers in drawing, MacGreevy considers the concept of performance and ritual to be present in her drawing practice. 

“To mark the coronation, I started to think about iconography associated with the history of England, and this led me to heraldic banners and motifs that have been used throughout the centuries. The inspiration for this piece is the iconic lion and unicorn motif; it is my own version of this antique symbol. With an oak tree behind it, a symbol of pastoral England and characteristic of longevity, strength, stability and endurance, this is surely correct for this changing of eras.” 

Limited Edition Giclée Print: Edition of 50, A2 paper size (420 x 595mm) printed on 310gsm Hahnemühle German Etching - £230 per print Buy here

A New Dawn, St James Park

Laura Footes, A New Dawn, St James' Park, pen, ink and watercolour on khaki paper, 56 x 76 cm, 2023

Laura Footes, Royal Drawing School alumni 2013

Laura Footes was born in Birmingham, and studied modern languages at the Université de Paris I before joining the Royal Drawing School. She currently lives and works in Margate at TKE studios. Footes uses the influence of European cinema and literature to explore her own psychological landscapes as well as her experience of living with a debilitating autoimmune disease. Her work is produced through the colourful and cinematic veil of memory and imagination, to reflect a distance with reality produced by cycles of illness and convalescence. Footes has work in UK and international collections and is building work towards her first solo presentation in the US at SHRINE gallery, New York.

“After the pandemic, I spent early mornings walking through the Royal parks on my visits to London. I saw some very beautiful sunrises and wanted to include this in the image, rather than depicting a parade, or any specific event pertaining to the Coronation, a sunrise will never age. The scene showing the corner of Buckingham Palace as it leans out from behind the trees on the water under a dawn sky could be yesterday, tomorrow, the day of the Coronation, the day of the late Queen's coronation - there is something eternal and consistent about it, which I thought was appropriate.”

Selling website: www.royaldrawingschoolexhibits.org - For original works and limited edition prints

Celebrating the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III & Queen Camilla

Dates: 2 – 25 May 2023

Address: Duke Street Gallery at Christie’s, 8 King St, St. James's, London SW1Y 6QT

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm / Saturday & Sunday 20-21 May 12 - 5pm (Closed 6-7, and 13-14 May).

 This exhibition has generously been supported by Christie's.