The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton reeled to artist Paul Emsley that her royal portrait was “amazing,” but some critics disagreed, calling it “ghastly” and “rotten.” The portrait was unveiled to the public on Friday at the National Portrait Gallery in London and attracted many. The painting shows Middleton poised against a dark background, her lips pursed as her hair flows down her shoulders.Shortly after the portrait was revealed, critics had at it. British Art Journal editor Robin Simon calls the portrait “ghastly,” “rotten” and “an out and out disaster.” Others say that the rendition of the Duchess makes the 31-year-old look 15 years older than she actually is. Shadows and creases give her eyes a “baggy” look along with the squareness of her jaw. Another said that her mouth seems to be set in a grimmace, rather than a smile.
Fortunately for Emsley, not everyone had negative criticism for the portrait — such as Richard Stone, who has frequently painted members of the Royal Family:
I liked it, very much so. So often with official portraits they can be rather stiff and starchy, but this has a lovely informality about it, and a warmth to it.
And Middleton is just fine with the portrait:
It’s just amazing. Absolutely brilliant.
Prince William liked the portrait, too, saying it was “just amazing” and “absolutely beautiful.”