Painter adds ‘20 years & 20 pounds’ to Duchess in royal portrait
Waldemar Januszczak, art critic for The Times of London, said it was the boring type of royal painting “we’ve been really churning out for the last few hundred years in Britain.”
In The Guardian, Charlotte Higgins said the painting made the duchess look undead, like a character in one of the Twilight movies. And the Daily Telegraph critic Mark Hudson compared the work to a “mawkish book illustration” that could have happily been used on the cover of a romance novel.
“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,” he wrote.
The general feeling was that although the painting did not reach the same level of badness as the fresco of Jesus Christ that was disastrously restored by a churchgoer in Spain, it was no Mona Lisa.
On the other hand, it provided a fine opportunity for the public to engage in one of its favourite activities: finding novel ways to ridicule things connected to the royal family.
“Sneering at royal portraits is part of British culture,” Hudson said, “and it might almost be that Emsley has sacrificed himself to allow that tradition to continue.”
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