An previously unknown portrait of The Queen has been unearthed in government archives, painted by acclaimed British artist, Damien Hirst, in secret and donated to the nation by the artist himself.
Using the spin technique which made Hirst famous, the picture shows a portrait of Her Majesty in dark red and blue on a pale pink, blue and white background.
The piece was given to the Government Art Collection last year after being created in 2014; officials approached the artist for a piece for the national collection but realised the public purse could not stretch to another work to join one of the famous dot painting.
No one knew about the painting, as it was taken straight from the studio, and not added to Hirst’s official website of work.
Entitled ‘Beautiful Portrait, The Queen’, it is thought the painting would fetch millions if sold. Hirst donated the piece to the scheme as one of its supporters.
The collection will be displayed in government departments and embassies across the world.
Some are criticising the ‘bad boy’ of art for the pro-establishment painting, with The Telegraph’s art critic saying: “The trajectory of his career has gone from bad boy of British art to owning a Gloucester pad, appearing on the rich list and becoming part of the establishment.”