With its prime location on the banks of the Thames, The Savoy commemorated the historic Diamond Jubilee Pageant by commissioning a major artwork from artist, David Downes. David was on the roof of the hotel on Sunday 3rd June to record the glorious sight of a 1000-strong flotilla sailing down the Thames. Guests had the opportunity to watch David working on the painting in The Savoy before is it is due to hung in the Front Hall in late August.
David Downes will be following in the footsteps of renowned artists such as Whistler and Monet, who created a famous series of pastels and paintings of the views from The Savoy while staying at the hotel. David studied at the Royal College of Art and his work mixes a detailed precise style with an expressionist approach to skies and water. He has completed a number of projects including both landscapes and cityscapes. In 2000 he was appointed the artist-in-residence for BBC Heritage and was commissioned to record the corporation’s most important architecture. He has exhibited in London and New York.
“The Savoy has enjoyed a long history of playing host to artists and commissioning artwork,” comments Kiaran MacDonald, Managing Director of The Savoy. “We are delighted to continue this tradition by working with David Downes to create a wonderful record of the historic Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. This painting will hang in a prominent position in our Front Hall where it will be enjoyed by guests for many years to come.”
David Downes comments “I am very excited to have been asked by The Savoy to paint such an important occasion. The cityscape by itself is inspiring but adding the pomp and ceremony of the River Pageant makes it a unique commission. I feel that I had the best seat in London from which to capture the glory of this special day”.
The final painting will be unveiled in the Front Hall in late August. A limited edition of prints of the painting will be available and for more information please contact The Savoy.