Painter of Kate's Portrait Defends His Work
Paul Emsley tells Washington Post it might be his masterpiece
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2013 6:13 PM CST
Artist Paul Emsley poses for photographers next to his portrait of Kate, duchess of Cambridge.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

(Newser) – When Paul Emsley unveiled his official portrait of Kate Middleton earlier this month, the criticism was so savage that Emsley retreated from public view and began asking himself, Did I screw this up? After weeks of contemplation and sketching, Emsley tells the Washington Post he has his answer: No way. In fact, the renowned artist thinks the piece may end up being what the Post calls the "masterwork" of his career.

The portrait shows a "natural" Kate, rather than the glamorous one in magazines, as per her request. “I did not deliberately age her or anything like that,” Emsley says. “I wanted it to be an authentic record, but it's very easy to put in more shadows and things than are perfectly necessary, and I haven't done that. I've tried to record, in a polite way, what I regard as her natural beauty.” One problem, he adds: The painting doesn't photograph well and is meant to be seen in person. And for the record, Kate loves it.

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Showing 3 of 18 comments
Feb 1, 2013 4:08 PM CST
I am not an art critic. But I do know what I like. I thought the portrait was very good. But I have only seen the portrait on television. Knowing how television "distorts" people, colors of materials etc, it is possible the portrait is different when looking at it with the naked eye. The portrait only matters to Kathryn and William. If the Duke and Duchess like the portrait, the painter has accomplished his goal.
Feb 1, 2013 9:12 AM CST
When Kate turns 30, or 40, or 50, she may feel better about being immortalized in a better light. Is youth immortal?
Feb 1, 2013 8:44 AM CST
He gave her bags under her eyes and gave her a stupid smile. He is ridiculously bad.