Kate's portrait painter reacts to criticism

Paul Emsley's painting of the Duchess of Cambridge has been widely criticized, but "I believe half the problem is the portrait doesn't photograph well," the artist says.

Below: Artist Paul Emsley with the portrait. Photo © Press Association. Photo source: The British Monarchy

New portrait of The Duchess of Cambridge

My opinion: It's not a glamorously pretty picture of Catherine (at least not in photos), but it nonetheless looks JUST LIKE her, quite a feat when you consider how inaccurate some previous depictions of Kate have been. Remember this official Royal Mint coin showing Prince William with some random female who looks nothing like his bride? Or this Barbie doll that supposedly represents Kate — but, again, looks nothing like her? Here's a mock-Sex Pistols poster that depicts Kate — kind of — the eyebrows are right, but otherwise I don't think it really captures her.

Granted, we expect more from an official portrait, but Emsley is not the first artist to comment that the Duchess of Cambridge's beauty makes her difficult to paint. So I think Mr. Emsley did a good job. (Madame Tussaud's did, too.)

What do YOU think of this portrait?

4 Replies to “Kate's portrait painter reacts to criticism”

  1. The fact that the artist felt it necessary to defend his work, makes me feel that actually he does agree with most of us who say, yes the portrait does look like HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, but as she may look in 20 – 25 years from now, and not how she looks today as a 31 yr old beauty!

    1. The portrait looks like a young beautiful Duchess of Cambridge who has been ill from morning sickness. Her beautiful eyes have the knowing look of a pregnant woman happy with delight but shows she has a wonderful look of a first time mother expecting a baby. She is such a beautiful woman that it is hard to paint her natural radiant beauty but the artist did a wonderful job of portraying her inner and outer beauty for all to see. I greatly admire the artists skill and attempt to show the Duchess of Cambridge's beauty. Although i know not every one will agree with me.
      Every one is entitled to their own opinion but this is my opinion.

  2. My problem with this photo is it does not suggest her emotionally. Her face is devoid of personality. The candid, unscripted photos that I've seen of her show a young woman with a lively personality and inquiring mind. I'm all for artistic freedom, but I think this artist has to remember that the general public has never actually seen Catherine. So his task, as I see it, was to produce a work that would evoke a sense of recognition and familiarity on the part of the public.

  3. In my opinion, the painter portrayed the Duchess as looking too much like her mother, and not enough like the Duchess herself.

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