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. (Read more Kate Middleton stories.)