Striking skull portraits of King Richard III produced using X-rays

Dramatic new artwork of King Richard III inspired by the discovery by Leicester archaeologists is to go on display at the Andipa Gallery in London from 14 – 25 April 2016.

At the exhibition, contemporary artist Alexander de Cadenet will unveil the first in a new series of striking skull portraits featuring King Richard III. The portraits have been produced using University X-ray scans of the last Plantagenet king following his discovery by archaeologists beneath a car park in Leicester in 2012. The images have been produced under University of Leicester licence.

A British artist working in various media, De Cadenet is most known for his skull portraits that are set within the tradition of Vanitas - still life artwork which includes various symbolic objects designed to remind the viewer of their mortality and of the worthlessness of worldly goods and pleasures.

De Cadenet said: “For me, Richard III is one of the ultimate skull portraits and I feel honoured to be able to present him using this concept as he is a part of our country's history. I am extremely grateful to the University of Leicester for allowing me access to the X-ray scans, without which this creation would not be possible."

Aside from Shakespeare, Richard III has also been represented in other contemporary art forms. A facial reconstruction was commissioned by the Richard III Society and more recently a large photo-mosaic portrait was unveiled on the first anniversary of his reinterment. Both can be found on display at the King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester.

Alexander de Cadenet will produce six different skull portrait versions of King Richard III. The first will be on display as part of his exhibition at Andipa Gallery, 162 Walton Street, London, SW3 2JL from 14 – 25 April.