January 11, 2013

"The Duchess explained that she would like to be portrayed naturally — her natural self — as opposed to her official self."

So says the artist of the official painting that is apparently horrifying people.

55 comments:

rhhardin said...

She looks nice enough to me.

Synova said...

I didn't see any of the things the writer was complaining about... looking middle aged or "jowly" or fat or unhealthy.

But the portrait is *dark*. The colors are subdued besides.

If I were inclined to be snarky about it, I'd have mentioned Velvet Elvis.

Humperdink said...

Reminds me of a modern day Mona Lisa. (ugh)

ambienisevil said...
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Ann Althouse said...

"They made her look older, fatter, and pinched, so yeah, middle aged."

It will stand the test of time.

Amartel said...

The writer is going so far over the top. "Jowly?" Unwashed hair, fat, looks like she smokes??!?!
No way.
Creating controversy where there needn't be any.
Maybe this is just what there is when the celebrity veil is lifted, and if so, it's quite pretty. IMAO!

sydney said...

She looks much prettier in her photographs, even those that are just candid shots by the paparazzi. Generally, a painted portrait - if well done- enhances nature and makes the sitter prettier than life. I suppose it is very difficult to capture true beauty on canvas, though.

mccullough said...

I like the topless photo better.

Nomennovum said...

"It will stand the test of time."

Indeed it will. Too bad for the Dutchess.

Ambrose said...

looks fine to me

Ambrose said...
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edutcher said...

I love the eyes. she looks pretty good to me.

I'm sure the official art establishment wanted her looking like the Duchess Flotilla of Uppinghamshire.

ambienisevil said...

They made her look older, fatter, and pinched, so yeah, middle aged.

Listen, muchacho, if she looks that good at 50, I can't see her complaining.

Iapetus said...

It makes her look post-menopausal. When she hits 51, this can become her official portrait. She can then ask the same artist to paint as she REALLY looked when she was younger at 31.

Iapetus said...

It makes her look post-menopausal. When she hits 51, this can become her official portrait. She can then ask the same artist to paint as she REALLY looked when she was younger at 31.

ricpic said...

Calling Master Hogarth!

Ruth Anne Adams said...

She's lovely, but she's no Countess of Grantham.

ddh said...

The Portrait of Dorian Gray?

Hagar said...

Look at the bright side; it will be a long time before she has to sit for a portrait again.

Brew Master said...

I think it is an examplary painting, and I salute her for her wish to not be sanitized.

It is one of the greatest tragedies, in my view, that people are unable to accept who and what they are. That others deride them for the strength of character that it takes to be truthful about oneself is a failing of modern society.

rehajm said...

Gainsborough-style. As Ann says, it will fit in nicely...

Brew Master said...

Honestly, reading that whole article, and the craptastic comments.....

I feel like I come from a different planet or something. I have so little in common with people who think that the painting is hideous, revolting, or whatever. I mean, in the scheme of things that matter, where does this lie?

Lyle said...

It's different. I like the eyes too.

Palladian said...

In which one can see what photography has done to the art & craft of portrait painting.

Sam L. said...

Tempest, this is Teapot. Teapot, this is Tempest. I think you will get on well with each other.

Levi Starks said...

Perhaps the artists other job is doing age progression photos for the police, and just couldn't get out of the groove

edutcher said...

Palladian said...

In which one can see what photography has done to the art & craft of portrait painting.

I see your point, but I still think it brings out her features and something of the inner woman quite nicely.

YMMV

That said, I once worked with a woman who had a beautifully Neapolitan face and complexion and I suggested she have her portrait painted for the reasons to which you allude.

Lem said...

It will stand the test of time.

It was a ruse to stiff the powerful English painters union.

Palladian said...

The funniest element of the whole thing is that people still call some woman "The Duchess", and they're serious!

edutcher said...

How so?

wildswan said...

Philip Laszlo, early in the Twentieth Century painted portraits that made a lot of his sitters look like morons but he was enormously popular and painted Royalty. Look at Princess Victoria Alexandra or Elizabeth, Empress of Austria as he did them. Maybe it's a subtle undermining like Goya. (I think the painting of Kate Middleton is terrible. It's like a zombie apocalypse thing where this nice person is changing before your eyes into one of THEM.)

Ann Althouse said...

"In which one can see what photography has done to the art & craft of portrait painting."

Yeah, no one posing for a portrait could hold a smile like that. That's why it's so notable that the Mona Lisa is almost smiling.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's an insult. They should fire him, destroy it, and have it redone.

Freeman Hunt said...

Is she allowed to slap his face with a glove? How does this royalty business work? If she's allowed, she should do it. He may as well have spit in her face.

Palladian said...

This topic reminds me of the official portraits of US Presidents- the last really good one (I mean good both in terms of its merit as both a painting and a likeness) was Anders Zorn's portrait of Taft.

Palladian said...

The worst presidential portrait is Lyndon Johnson's.

kentuckyliz said...

I like it. I don't see the problem.

Clyde said...

Either the painting doesn't do her justice or she has a damn good makeup artist.

Freeman Hunt said...

I browsed his online gallery. I think he captures men and flowers very well, but his likenesses of females are all very much like this portrait. Interesting.

sabeth.chu said...
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Darrell said...

Just install a brass plate saying "Kate at 48."

Jim Howard said...

I honestly don't know who 'Kate' is, but I'd hit it.

Jim Howard said...

I honestly don't know who 'Kate' is, but I'd hit it.

MayBee said...

It's the mouth area that is so unlike hers.
It's so boring too. Imagine, it has to hang in the National Portrait Gallery and compete over the centuries with the glorious Tudor portraits.

Darrell said...
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Darrell said...

Amazingly, none of the gorillas he painted ever had a complaint

Mitch H. said...

Perhaps she aspires to be post-menopausal, middle-aged, not considered as a sexual object, but rather a maternal one. Given all the crap she's gotten so far about topless bathing and pestering her about pregnancy, I could see why she'd want to jump forward through all that rubbish and let someone else brush off paparazzi.

Mitchell the Bat said...

The portrait appears to be of a woman possessing an upper lip so it's a success in that regard.

Nomennovum said...

This painting ranks up there with the woman who messed up the fresco of Jesus in that Spanish church as a scandal of the modern era. (Didn't she later seek to profit from her deed?) We are a civilization of vandals, descending into barbarism.

Astro said...

The non-smile smile is the problem, imho. It's a smile like she just smelled the artist's stale coffee breath when the artist said hello but she's still trying to smile and be polite.

cubanbob said...

If that portrait represents what Kate will look like at fifty, Wills should consider himself lucky.

madAsHell said...

I'm not too impressed with the painting, but I've always been impressed with the joy/life/spirit in her eyes. The painter did manage to capture the eyes.

gerry said...

Th0se people need to get over themselves.

Astro said...

Actually a lot of women hold their looks up to the age of 50; that is to say, women who are out in public a lot and know how to dress appropriately and do their hair and makeup well. It's after 50 when being post-menopausal and other affects of aging really take their toll.

The Prof. is 62 today (Happy Birthday!) and still looks good in the photos she posts [I'd hit it, as they say on the interweb]. But I think she is one of the luckier ones for her age.

sabeth.chu said...

she looks like spiderwoman.
if you close your eyes for a moment, and then look at the painting again, then may be the mouth will be open and you can see her fangs.
is the painter a closet woman hater?

sabeth.chu said...

or:
the duchess has visited arkham