Supposedly the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, told the artist she wanted to look natural and the artist is known for his super-realistic, almost photographic paintings. But, when a girl says she wants to look natural she doesn’t mean “make me look way older than I am and show every line and crinkle…and make me look all matronly, too, while you’re at it.” The Daily Mail had this to say:
The first official portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge provoked a dismayed reaction when it was unveiled this morning.
Critics slammed the ‘rotten’ picture by Paul Emsley after it was unveiled at London’s National Portrait Gallery, saying it looked ‘nothing like Kate in real life’.
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.’
Emsley – who is famous for dividing opinion with his extraordinarily realistic, almost ‘photographic’ style - was commissioned by the gallery after Kate chose him from a shortlist.
She and husband Prince William visited the gallery early this morning ahead of a public viewing, and Kate was said to be ‘thrilled’ with the results of her latest royal rite of passage.
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.’