Prince Charles has commissioned seven leading artists to paint portraits of Holocaust survivors as a gesture of tribute to the aging generation. The portraits will be unveiled at the Buckingham Palace towards the end of this month.
The established U.K.-based artists participating in the project include the most expensive living female artist Jenny Saville, BP Portrait Award-winner Clara Drummond, original member of the Young British Artists Stuart Pearson Wright, and painters Paul Benney, Peter Kuhfeld, and Ishbel Myerscough, according to the BBC.
“As the number of Holocaust survivors sadly but inevitably declines, my abiding hope is that this special collection will act as a further guiding light,” Prince Charles told the BBC, adding that the portraits will also serve as a reminder of “history’s darkest days.”
Most of the Holocaust survivors featured in the portraits are more than 90 years old. They were imprisoned in concentration camps during their childhood years and are living in Britain as adults.
The survivors depicted include Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, a 96-year-old musician from a German Jewish family who played in an orchestra of prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp, and was later held in the Bergen-Belsen camp in Germany. Her portrait was painted by Kuhfeld. Benney has painted Helen Aronson, 94, a survivor of the imprisonment of Jewish people in Nazi-occupied Poland’s Lodz ghetto.
The paintings, which will be featured at the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace from January 27 to February 13, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh from March 17 to June 6, are hoped to serve as a reminder of not just one of the darkest chapters in history, but also to show “humanity’s interconnectedness as we strive to create a better world for our children, grandchildren and generations as yet unborn,” Prince Charles said, adding that this world should be “one where hope is victorious over despair and love triumphs over hate.”
The paintings will also be featured in a BBC Two documentary that will air on January 27 to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. It will include interviews with the survivors, who will share their experiences of events during the Nazi era.