Art and Design | Kate Middleton | News | Royalty

Critics Trash First Official Portrait of Kate Middleton: VIDEO


Artist Paul Emsley was commissioned to do the first official portrait of Kate Middleton which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery, but nobody likes it.

The Daily Beast writes:

Believe it or not, this is not some provocative project cooked up by an attention seeking art student (or Morrissey) aiming to show us what Kate would look like if she was twenty years older, smoked, never washed her hair and ate junk food, but her first official portrait.

The Telegraph called it 'an aesthetic disaster":

For the Duchess of Cambridge, however, he has produced what looks like a piece of mawkish book illustration, a work that could be read as an almost comical pastiche of a certain kind of ‘sensitive’ painting – that might pass muster on the cover of a Catherine Cookson novel, but will hardly bear sustained scrutiny in a major art gallery. If Kim Jong un, Supreme Leader of North Korea, had a portrait painted of himself in a similar idiom, we’d all be crowing from the rafters about the pitiful taste of foreign despots.

And Twitter appears not to be on board.

The Royal Channel released a video about it. Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. She looks like a man. The 'artist' should eat his crayons.

    Posted by: OrmsByGore | Jan 11, 2013 3:19:51 PM

  2. He did the hair well. That's about it.

    The bags under her eyes are a really nice touch.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 11, 2013 4:21:39 PM

  3. it ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT do her justice - she's stunningly beautiful!

    Posted by: ACe | Jan 11, 2013 4:48:26 PM

  4. It's like the portrait of Dorian Gray. Compared to it, she will always look young.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 12, 2013 1:02:59 AM

  5. Let's be honest--she is not beautiful in real life. She is young(ish), and slim, and she has the ability to have the best in accessories in makeup, and ample opportunity to be seen and photographed in 'glamorous' settings.

    That said, this portrait shortchanges her on her best current feature--her leanness. The painting makes her face look flatter, wider, and doughier. It makes her look at least 20 years older than she actually is.


    Posted by: Remblundt. | Jan 12, 2013 1:13:31 AM

  6. No doubt the artist was chosen because the Duchess (or her handlers) admired the "stark honesty" of his style. The result isn't so much a bad likeness as a perversely dull and listless composition. It's as if the artist were philosophically against any expression of vitality, channeling his creative energy instead into making sure that the Duchess's eyes matched her blouse. This isn't painting - it's interior decorating.

    Posted by: Mort | Jan 12, 2013 1:20:59 AM

  7. I guess it's not acceptable to ask, but... why do we even need "portraits" anymore? You can take a photograph with little to no effort now, so what possible purpose does a portrait serve if not an artistic one? I don't think this achieves anything artistic, but if all anyone wants is a likeness, why the bother?

    Posted by: David | Jan 12, 2013 2:12:55 AM

  8. I thought it was Lindsey Lohan.

    Posted by: Brion | Jan 12, 2013 2:30:23 AM

  9. She doesn't look "older". She looks nasty and coldly calculating, like her gaze is concentrating on something annoying she is about to eliminate.

    Perhaps this is the result of the artist's incompetence or perhaps meeting her he saw something in her that came out in this potrayal. Remember that this is a portrait, not a Vogue cover shot. Perhaps he is incompetent or perhaps he chose to be honest rather than a sycophant.

    Posted by: gsh | Jan 12, 2013 5:16:33 AM

  10. jeez...she's so fresh and pretty and here she looks like a cougar.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Jan 12, 2013 6:40:41 AM

  11. Maybe it's like with Picasso's portrait of Gertrude Stein. When people said Stein "doesn't look like that" he'd say, "Don't worry. She will."

    Posted by: Yupp | Jan 12, 2013 8:09:52 AM

  12. Not flattering. The first problem is that he relied a poor photography which sadly did not capture her youthfulness. It is a fine painting per se, but, not a good portrait. In fact, when I first saw it I did not know who it was supposed to be!!

    Posted by: James | Jan 12, 2013 8:46:53 AM

  13. She is not "Kate Middleton" - she is the Duchess of Cambridge.

    Posted by: mike | Jan 12, 2013 10:06:34 AM

  14. God, makes you you wonder what he'd have done with Camilla.

    Posted by: Lady, Die! | Jan 12, 2013 12:52:29 PM

  15. What red blooded American gives a s*it what some British "Royal" looks like in a painting. UP THE REPUBLIC !!!

    Posted by: andrew | Jan 12, 2013 1:31:18 PM

  16. The artist would be beheaded in any sane monarchy!

    Posted by: Daniel Curzon | Jan 12, 2013 1:55:13 PM

  17. The Duchess of Cambridge is more tha pleased with her portrait.

    That's it.

    Get over it.

    Our opinion is not prt of the equation.

    Posted by: WoodyR | Jan 12, 2013 2:54:56 PM

  18. Is it just me or does it look like washed up Lindsay Lohan more than Kate Middleton?!

    Posted by: Kinito | Jan 12, 2013 2:55:35 PM

  19. Call me crazy but I see Bernadette (a.k.a Ralph) from "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", in that painting.

    Posted by: PapaBear | Jan 12, 2013 3:23:14 PM

  20. @WoodyR: Yeah. Pleased with it. And if you believe that, there's a bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.

    IF the portrait ever gets hung, you can be sure it will be quietly replaced with a more suitable likeness after a brief interval, perhaps to be returned when the Duchess turns 65.

    Honestly, a Cubist rendering could not have been less flattering.

    Posted by: So Picasso | Jan 12, 2013 3:27:19 PM

  21. KINITO!!! I saw that too!! She's Bernadette !!!!!!!

    Posted by: Frank | Jan 12, 2013 3:42:11 PM

  22. Looks like Terence Stamp

    Posted by: shane | Jan 12, 2013 5:26:20 PM


    Posted by: Mario Stefanutti | Feb 1, 2013 4:00:53 AM

  24. « 1 2

Post a comment


« «Andrew Rannells is a 'Purebred' Gay« «