Kate Middleton’s portrait gets harsh criticism
Sunday Times art critic Waldemar Januszczak called the portrait ‘pretty ordinary… He made her look older than she is and her eyes don’t sparkle in the way that they do and there’s something rather dour about the face.’ Robin Simon, editor of the British Art Journal and Daily Mail art critic, said today: ‘Fortunately, the Duchess of Cambridge looks nothing like this in real life. ‘I’m really sad to say this is a rotten portrait.’
Januszczak told BBC News: “I was disappointed, to be honest. I have been waiting for it, like everybody else, with great expectation because the Duchess of Cambridge is someone who we know likes art and was presumably going to be an enlightened patron. But I think she’s been let down really by the picture. In the end, it’s yet another pretty ordinary painting of a royal of the sort that we’ve been really churning out for the last few hundred years in Britain.”
The portrait from top to bottom
The painting shows the Duchess in a green bow blouse wearing a pair of earrings that were a wedding gift. Kate looks about 20 years older thanks to creases under her eyes and has an expression that looks like a grimace. Emsley, who has also painted Nelson Mandela, wanted to capture her ‘charm, serenity and intelligence’ as well as her ‘sparkling green eyes’. But it seems like he missed a few strokes.
Emsley had said: ‘The Duchess explained to me that she would like to be portrayed naturally – her natural self as opposed to her official self. She struck me as enormously open and generous and a very warm person. ‘After initially feeling it was going to be an unsmiling portrait, I think it was the right choice in the end to have her smiling – that is really who she is.’
Kate posed for the portrait before she got pregnant, over two sittings in May and June at the artist’s studio in Bradford-upon-Avon, Wiltshire and at Kensington Palace. Kate, William and the entire Middleton family – Carole, Michael, James and Pippa – went for a private viewing of the portrait this morning before it was publicly unveiled.
The royal reaction
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were first to congratulate the artist on his work. ‘I thought it was brilliant,’ said Kate. ‘It’s just amazing. Absolutely brilliant.’ She studied the portraitfor 10 minutes before indicating that she was pleased with the way he had captured her around her mouth and nose. Prince William had a similar reaction ‘It’s beautiful. Absolutely beautiful,’ he said.
HollywoodLifers, do YOU think Kate & Wills were just being polite about liking the portrait? We think a redux is in order! Sound off below!
— Jennifer Tzeses
More on Kate Middleton: