“I thought it was brilliant — it’s just amazing — absolutely brilliant,” she said, before thanking the artist she hand-picked for the job, Paul Emsley. Prince William called the work “absolutely beautiful.”
The portrait was shown to the public for the first time on Friday at the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the immediate feedback was negative, with art critics panning the piece.
Emsley “made her look older than she is,” the UK’s Sunday Times art critic Waldemar Januszczak wrote, adding her ‘eyes don’t sparkle in the way that they do and there’s something rather dour about the face’. “I think she’s been let down really by the picture. In the end, it’s yet another pretty ordinary painting of a royal of the sort that we’ve been really churning out for the last few hundred years in Britain.”
Daily Mail art critic Robin Simon said, “Fortunately, the Duchess of Cambridge looks nothing like this in real life. I’m really sad to say this is a rotten portrait.”
‘Kate’s beauty made made her hard to paint’
Kate Middleton’s beauty made her portrait difficult to paint, artist Paul Emsley has revealed. Emsley admitted, “The fact she is a beautiful woman is for an artist difficult. In the end I think what I tried to do really was to convey something about her warmth and her smile.”