Check Out This Super Rare Painted Portrait of Princess Diana (Which Sold for $200k at Auction, BTW)

When it comes to the royals, you can bet that we've seen their officially-commissioned portraits, as well as the many family photos they've shared over the years. However, when news broke that a super rare Princess Diana portrait had been put up for auction earlier this year, we were highly intrigued. Now, we have a good look at the stunning painting, which was shared by the Philip Mould & Company gallery on Instagram.

The oil sketch, which was described by gallerist Philip Mould as “extraordinarily rare,” sold for a whopping $201,600 at a Sotheby's auction back in January (even though it was expected to sell for 10x less). And we got an in-depth look at the artwork in a new post from Philip Mould & Co, because the London-based gallery hung the artwork from June 30 until July 6.

“This highly emotive work of Diana, Princess of Wales is a highlight of our Masterpiece exhibition this year,” they wrote in their caption. “Painted from life in 1994, this extraordinary head study of Diana can rightly be described as the most affecting painted portrait of the ‘People’s Princess.’”

Artist Nelson Shanks completed the painted sketch as practice for a final portrait, which is currently on display at Althorp House (the home of Princess Diana's brother, Charles Spencer).

As the Philip Mould gallery pointed out in their caption, “The sittings for this portrait took place at a critical moment in Diana’s personal life, and over the course of thirty sittings and thirty-five hours, Nelson Shanks’ London studio became a place of solace and refuge for Diana.”

They added, “Diana became close friends with both the artist and his wife, Leona, and later confided in a letter to Nelson and Leona that ‘…coming to the studio was a safe haven, so full of love and support.’”

As CNN pointed out, Lady Di was painted in a green Catherine Walker dress, which she was later photographed in for a ’97 Vanity Fair spread. In the sketch, the Princess of Wales has her eyes pointed down toward the ground, as if she is lost in thought.

We love getting to see this rare look at Princess Diana.

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Joel Calfee

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...
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