Saturday, January 12, 2013

Kate Middleton Portrait Causes an Art Attack

The new portrait of Kate Middleton has stirred up a bit of controversy. The painting is the first official portrait of the Duchess of Cornwall and its black background suggests a tradition of Royal portraits going back centuries.


But centuries years ago Royal painters didn't have to put up with millions of critics on websites and the social media, suggesting Kate looked 100 years' old, dowdy, tired or even like a nightclub bouncer.

Kate herself didn't go on Twitter to rant. "It's just amazing. Absolutely brilliant," she told artist Paul Emsley when she met him at the National Portrait Gallery.

Others saw the portrait as a slight on the world's most popular Princess. Others went to town with Photoshop.



I don't think the portrait is too bad. It could be a lot worse. Look what happened when Britain's top artist Lucien Freud was let loose on the Queen.



Robert Simon, editor of the British Art Journal, commented: "It makes her look like one of the Royal corgis who has suffered a stroke."

I don't think that one was commissioned.

Perhaps Royal artists are wised up to the dangers of over flattering portraits. In 1539 Hans Holbein the Younger was commissioned by King Henry VIII to paint a portrait of the German Princess Anne of Cleves. The king was impressed enough to arrange a marriage with her but when he saw her was disappointed with the real thing.



Remarkably all parties survived the ordeal with their heads attached to their bodies but the unfortunate episode illustrated the need for Flickr etc.

23 comments:

  1. That painting of Kate is abysmal. Seriously. She looks like she's in her 40s and had a rough life.

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    1. Oh I don't think it's that bad, although it does age her a bit

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  2. I think the Atkinson one's charming.

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  3. I didn't think it was horrible, but I didn't think it was fantastic either. If she likes it, I don't think it matters much what anyone else thinks about it. The photoshop version made me smile though. :)

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  4. I don't think it looks bad - pretty damn good artist because it looks like an instagram pic.

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  5. I admit that it's clearly a painting of Kate, so it's not so bad as to be unrecognizable - but it's really not flattering. There are MUCH better photos of her out there. Let's hope they don't make the baby look as tired and old!

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    1. know what you mean ValleyWriter - the 80 year-old baby lol

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  6. I don't think Kate's portrait is flattering or insulting. It just doesn't look quite like her. In fact, it looks like a woman who's intelligent.

    xoRobyn

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    1. lol Robyn - I believe she's more intelligent than..hmm Diana

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  7. I don't think the painting captures her at all. It's flat and lifeless. Disappointing imo.

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    1. I guess Sarah - mind you I'd be fine is a portrait mademe look that age

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  8. You're right (and everyone else), Katherine looks like a ghost. By the way, I heard that Henry VIII was the only one who described Anne of Cleves as ugly. Go watch the 4th episode of The Six Wives of Henry VIII, even if you don't like period drama, at least it'll make you laugh.

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    1. thanks Starla - I do like a chuckle from a period drama lol

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  9. Kate looks like a ball-breaker in that picture, which I'm sure she's not (fingers crossed). Poor Ann of Cleves! Whatever her defects, I'm sure she was more attractive than the fat decaying carcass she almost married.

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  10. I think what is most haunting about that painting is her eyes. She looks dead. Like a zombie. It gives me the effing creeps. And poor Kate had to lie and say she liked it. I'd be in tears.

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    1. well she may have done Jen; the Royal Family all end up like zombies after a while

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  11. I think Kate is so charming and lovely - from where i'm sitting anyway.

    The painting? We all see something different I'm thinking. I see a lovely lovely woman.

    Gorilla Bananas made me laugh with that comment! And it makes me laugh that the King was fooled by some misrepresenting. #lovethetudors

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  12. Yes we do love a bit of the Tudors Deborah - ooo you are a fan.

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  13. The painting does make her look quite a bit older, but it could be a lot worse.

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