Friday, 11 January 2013

Kate Middleton portrait

A portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge by Paul Emsley has been unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Although a reasonably attractive portrait, I personally think that it is just a mere shadow of Kate. To me she has a much more vibrant and animated face. Her smile normally shows her teeth and is complimented by her lively sparkling eyes. These eyes look lifeless in comparison. 
All opinions welcome.
pictures courtesy yahoo

38 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary:
    We are afraid to say that we think the portrait rather horrid. We are no monarchists but do feel, as you point out, that the portrait is somewhat lifeless in comparison with other images which we have seen of the Duchess of Cambridge.

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    1. Dear Jane and Lance - I have not heard any critics yet as the image was only released today, but think that this may be the common consensus of opinion.

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  2. It is a decent portrait, and does look like her, but lacks her magic. I hate to be critical, but .... agree with all you have said. We often see her in town and she is a true beauty, quite vibrant and glowing even when casual. Her hair is extremely glossy and she does not look her age, whereas I think this picture makes her look older. I'm sure she will be painted by many during her lifetime and hopefully one of them will capture that sparkle! Minerva x

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    1. You are right, there will be many more portraits to come. I would like to have seen her being painted in a more contemporary style and not such a traditional pose. There are some wonderful up and coming members of the Royal Portrait Society - I would like to have seen one of them being given the opportunity to paint her.

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  3. I think the portrait makes her looks old. Maybe she'd look like that in 5-10 years, but not now. I like the hair, though. The highlights are wonderful and the curls at the bottom look like they were photographed.

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    1. Dear Marie - Minerva has also commented on how she looks older than she is on the picture too. I am sure there will be many more portraits to come.

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  4. This is really too bad - she looks old and tired - rather a grey portrait all round.

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  5. Dear Rosemary, Her eyes are wrong and so is her mouth. As you say, there will be more portraits in the future. I hope so.

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  6. Hello Rosemary, I think that this portrait looks a little creepy. I don't think the direct-frontal approach is a good one either for making the subject look attractive, or for making the viewer feel comfortable.

    Recently bloggers Mark Ruffner and Little Augury have posted about their 10 favorite female portraits from different periods, so we have had a chance to see just how charming and effective such portraits can be.
    --Road to Parnassus

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  7. I heard about the portrait in the car today and the first picture I have seen of it is here. It has does look like her but I too think it makes her look older, it makes be so difficult to paint some one so well known as everyone will have an opinion.
    Sarah x

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  8. Dear Rosemary,

    I would not go so far as to say that this is horrid because I have seen portraits of your queen that are truly horrid, and I also know that portraits that reach for Kate Middleton's beauty could easily garner equal criticism for looking saccharine.

    Studying the eyes closely, I can see that the artist did indeed attempt a sparkle, but I think it doesn't work because they are slightly narrowed, and also because of the expression of the mouth, which has down-turned shadows. The appearance of aging is because the artist, in attempting to catch both a smile and Kate's wonderful dimples, has over-defined that part of the face.

    Not only will there be many more portraits of the duchess, but I'm sure there will be many that don't rise to the good aspects of this work.

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    1. Dear Mark - thank you for your acute observations which I appreciate very much knowing that you have brought your artists eye to the painting.
      Hopefully the next portrait will have more of her vitality in it and receive universal acclaim.

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  9. Dear Rosemary,Kate is a nice girl and the portrait, shows her older than she is,i prefered more Lady Diana,i was very fond of her!Have a lovely weekend my friend!
    Dimi..

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  10. Dear Rosemary,
    I was horrified this morning while watching sky news , when they showed the portrait.. I think its horrible and should not have been shown .. It indeed is no likeness to her. Her beautiful smile, her happy face and eyes always glowing..
    I am surprised that she has accepted it. Maybe she was too shy to say she didnt like it.
    Lets hope that the next will be better.
    val

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  11. I agree with you Rosemary. She looks older on the painting than she really is.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Madelief x

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  12. Awful. Makes her look much older and tired and there is none of her natural sparkle! x

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  13. Dear Rosemary,
    I agree with Minerva. It is a perfectly nice portrait but it does not really show, to my mind, the Duchess of Cambridge as such. The artist, in trying to portray her as mature, has just made her look older - with a somewhat forced smile.
    I must admit that it surprised me when I saw it in the paper this morning.
    Kirk

    PS
    It is literally freezing here at present. Today's clear blue skies has meant that the temperature has plummeted. I shall be staying firmly indoors this weekend!

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  14. I agree with the other commentators - the portrait makes the Duchess look older and a little weary. In attempting to convey both seriousness and a smile, it seems to me he has given her an unattractive smirk. Disappointing for a first portrait.

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  15. I do not think it captures her. It makes her look older than she is.

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  16. I had no idea this had been done, Rosemary! The picture does not have the gravity one would expect from a royal portrait. An dI agree about the eyes.

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  17. I totally agree with your assessment Rosemary. The Duchess is such a beautiful, young and vibrant woman. But this portrait is unflattering and failed to capture her beauty and personality. They could have done better!

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  18. I think it is really flat, with no spirit of her true self. A beautiful painting executed, none the less, but am I the only one seeing 'grim' in this.

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  19. I find the portrait makes Kate look older and less vibrant also. The dull colours aren't helping either.

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  20. I absolutely concur with what you've said. The protrait does not do her justice. She is more vivacious in person than what the portrait would suggest.

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  21. Hi Rosemary!

    I think the portrait is actually quite flattering in that the artists has "given" Kate a top lip which is "missing" in the original(her top lip is too thin compared with the lower lip and almost not there!)

    By doing so, the artist has somehow balanced Kate's facial features, I guess.

    This is what I think! I'm not really a royal expert... Tower of London, here I come!

    HAPPY SUNDAY!

    ANNA

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    1. Dear Anna - out of 22 people you are the first one to "sort of approve" the portrait. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as the expression goes!!!

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  22. Dear Rosemary,
    I think this portrait fails to capture the essence of Kate's personality.
    I guess this is how the artist saw her at that time.

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  23. I agree Rosemary. Her hair looks like her hair but her eyes not so much. A smile would have been much better. Were they going for demure perhaps?

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  24. A big thank you to you all for your comments. So far 99% do not favour the portrait.
    Personally I would have preferred to see a more imaginative painting, not the straightforward traditional pose: a painting that showed her infectious personality.

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  25. It is really interesting to read all the different comments. I was a little surprised when I first saw a photo of the portrait (I haven't seen the real painting, and from experience seeing the actual artwork rather than a small photograph often changes my mind about a work) - I was surprised that it looked austere and dark and surprised I liked it a little more than expected, given the negative reception it has had.
    I looked at some other works by the artist and read that he is interested in the landscape of the skin and works from from photographs. I also think that artists often paint something of themselves, whoever they are portraying.
    I agree with you, Rosemary, that a more imaginative pose and a livelier composition may have captured the impression we have of Kate via the media. But maybe the artist has portrayed the 'Kate' he met during the sittings?

    ps thank you for leaving a comment on my blog.

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    1. It is always useful to have the views of someone who is actually a practising artist - I am of course simply making observations from the point of view of someone who is interested in art, but not involved with the actual process. Very insightful observations, which are appreciated, thank you.

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  26. How very disappointing this portrait is. It makes those old Annigoni portraits look lively & characterful!

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    1. Spot on Nilly - I quite like those Annigoni's

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  27. I hate to be negative but I think it is grossly unflattering. She has a such a sweet smile and that is missing. It makes her look older and harder. Lost the joy and kindness in her expression. I am sure she was gracious about it but she must have been dissapointed too.
    Come and visit Lady B and me at:http://www.ladybstimefortea.blogspot.com
    Ruthie

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    1. Yes, I believe she was very gracious about it saying 'it is brilliant' but wonder what she actually thought about it.

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  28. The controversy over the portrait has crossed over to the USA. I usually prefer a realistic painting to a photo but in this case I agree that the photos have more character and spark. Kate's beauty is hidden in the painting.

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    1. A more original pose would also have held more interest - thanks for your comment.

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  29. the comments here when the portrait was unveiled were mostly of the opinion that it is unflattering. I think it looks like she was up with the baby all night then had to sit for a dratted artist....

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