Home News Too red, too vampy, too sexy: a brief history of polarizing royal...

Too red, too vampy, too sexy: a brief history of polarizing royal portraits


Members of the royal family often sit for portraits. Even if they don’t, artists will paint them. Some of these portraits achieved near-universal acclaim and have stood the test of time, captivating audiences for generations. Others have caused mixed reactions, scandals or controversy.

As with some artworks, critics have objected to members of the royal family being too sombre, too naked or, in the case of the latest portrait of King Charles III, too red.

In the painting, released on Tuesday, Charles is surrounded by a swath of deep reds, hot pinks and fuchsias.

Artist Jonathan Yeo told The New York Times In an interview last month He learned about his subject through four sessions, starting in 2021 when Charles was Prince of Wales and continuing after coronation Last May.

“The age and experience suit him,” Mr Young said. “His behavior did change when he became king.”

“Life and death, blood and brocade. Wonderful,” Jonathan Foyle wroteBritish academics said on social media. But not everyone is impressed.

One social media user said the king looked like he was “burning in hell” in the painting. Others have compared the work to the possessed portrait in the 1989 film Ghostbusters II. Haunted by the ghost of a medieval tyrant.

“Have portraits of British aristocrats ever been so pink?” Laura Freeman Chief Art Critic, The Times of London, wrote. While she praised the face (“beautifully done”) and said Mr Young deserved to be knighted, she added, “Heads to the tower in the background to await his gruesome execution.”

The Daily Telegraph’s art critic Alastair Sooke noted that “painting a monarch is one of the most difficult artistic endeavors” and concluded that one thing seemed certain: portrait “Will be remembered for its fluorescence.”

Here are other royal portraits, painted in a less vibrant palette but in their own way, both surprising and controversial.

While some described the first official portrait of the then Duchess of Cambridge as natural and human, Paul Emsley’s 2012 portrait of the former Kate Middleton (now Catherine, Princess of Wales) ‘s soft and transparent paintings were harshly criticized.

Charlotte Higgins, culture writer for The Guardian, said it was like “Some unpleasant things about the Twilight series,” referring to the brooding vampire romance film. She decried the Duchess’s “vampiric, baleful gaze under her heavy lids,” which gave the portrait a “gloomy gloom.”

That wasn’t the worst feedback the portrait received.

Michael Glover, The Independent called portrait “Catastrophic.”

According to British Vogue magazineMr Emsley said the attacks were so vile at first that “I myself doubted for a while whether the Duchess’s likeness was of any benefit.”

But British newspapers quoted Kate as saying tell the artist She found the portrait “amazing.” Absolutely wonderful. “

“The Queen has been beheaded, albeit on canvas, by her latest portraitist,” BBC writes When Justin Mortimer paints Queen Elizabeth II on a yellow background, her head floats outside her body.

The artist was just 27 when he was commissioned by the Royal Society of Arts to paint this portrait after winning the National Portrait Gallery Prize. Portrait Award In 1991, he told the BBC that his aim was to make the painting “fresh and funky”.

Some people liked the joke, but many Britons didn’t get it.

“‘Stupid’ artist chops off Queen’s head,” wrote the Daily Mail.

Mr Mortimer told the New York Times After the Queen sat down for him, “I ended up basically cutting her neck off” in a show of “shamelessness”.

“I know people will come up with ideas like ‘Off her head!'” he said. “I didn’t come in as an angry Republican. I just wanted to express this unease in the royal family at the time.”

In Stuart Pearson Wright’s 2003 portrait, Prince PhilipThe husband of Queen Elizabeth II is shirtless, carrying a bluebottle fly on his shoulder and a cress sprout growing out of his index finger.

The painting was originally commissioned by the Royal Society of Arts in memory of their president Philip, who also worked on the painting, but the final result was deemed “inappropriate” by the artist tell the bbc. He was asked to design a smaller version, focusing only on the prince’s face, which is currently on display at the Royal Society of Arts.

Mr Pearson Wright told the BBC that when he showed the work-in-progress to the prince and asked him if he thought it resembled him, Philip told him, “I very much hope not.”

The portrait is titled “Homo Sapiens, Lepidium and Vomiting Horse”: a wise man, some cress and a bluefly. Wright told the Guardian that Prince Philip did not strip naked during the court session, explaining that his hairy chest was modeled after that of an elderly man in east London.

“Victorian” is often used as a synonym for formality and modesty, but in an 1843 portrait by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, the Queen is far from silent.

In the oil painting, a lock of Victoria’s hair is spread over her bare shoulders. She is leaning on a red cushion, staring into the distance with her mouth slightly open.

Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, kept the painting in his private writing room at Windsor Castle until his death, and the portrait was deemed too explicit and was not shown to the public until 1977. According to the Telegraph.

The Daily Mail described the portrait as a “sexy photo” as a surprise 24th birthday gift from Victoria to Albert. The Royal Collection Trust, which manages the Royal Art Collection, found the work “fascinating” and said it was Albert’s favorite Victorian portrait.

“I’m so happy and proud that I found something that brings him so much joy,” Victoria she wrote in her diary.

In the 1530s, Hans Holbein the Younger painted a majestic portrait of Henry VIII, showing the monarch dominating his surroundings, his feet spread apart and his body draped in furs and gold cloth. The painting, now lost, was widely copied at the time and is considered a masterpiece of royal iconography. But one detail in particular catches the eye of the modern observer.

Among all the ornate decorations and symbols of grandeur, Henry’s padded coat seems designed to capture the viewer’s attention.

According to reports, “Codpieces” are pieces of cloth worn by Renaissance men on the crotch, sometimes decorated with silk, velvet and bows. They were originally intended for protection, but they were exaggerated in a game of one-upmanship. BBC History Magazine.

“What better way to show off your masculinity than to have a giant piece bulge out like a 3D object in the center of your portrait?” said arts and culture critic Evan Puschak.

“Henry VIII remains the poster child for cypher pieces,” The New Yorker wrote.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here