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Can a photo be better than a painting.

SlowSong Plus
9 7.4k 30 England
11 Jan 2013 4:35PM

Quote: if Kate and Will liked it, that's all that matters
Well we're never likely to ever know what they really think. Apparently Kate said it was "amazing". A good stock standard word which covers all eventualities.

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mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
11 Jan 2013 4:55PM
Like 'interesting' and 'meaningful' Tongue
spaceman 14 5.3k 3 Wales
11 Jan 2013 5:31PM
I had no idea she was 50yrs old.
PinkK 9 80 1 United Kingdom
11 Jan 2013 5:47PM
I don't like the painted portrait at all...but then again I can't paint, so perhaps my opinion doesn't count. I think she is a beautiful young woman, but the painting doesn't portray this at all, she looks old before her time and her eyes simply look weird. If they like it then great, but I hope she doesn't regret it in the future.
p12owe 5 101 2 United Kingdom
11 Jan 2013 8:33PM

Quote:I don't like the painted portrait at all...but then again I can't paint, so perhaps my opinion doesn't count.

You don't have to paint to know whether you like a painting or not, just as you don't have to be a musician to know what music you like! I think your opinion matches much of the art world as well!
jondf 11 2.7k
12 Jan 2013 8:02AM

Quote:I will keep this short & sweet, this imho is the possibly the worst portrait I have ever seen

It's hideous and an invasion of her personal identity and charm. It makes her look old, frowzy and pissed with a boozer's nose......awful
whipspeed 13 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2013 8:50AM

Quote:I had no idea she was 50yrs old.

I was going to say I thought she was 31, not 51. It makes her look old before her time.
Paintman Plus
11 1.2k 177 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2013 9:18AM

Quote:The portrait is now on display at London's National Portrait Gallery, which commissioned the work. The duchess is the gallery's patron.

Mr Emsley was chosen by the gallery's director, Sandy Nairne. Catherine, who studied history of art at St Andrews University, was also involved in the selection process.

To be fair to the artist he was commissioned by the NPG and they know the kind of work he produces, so this is what they got.

This is some of his work.

Quote:"I'm interested in the landscape of the face, the way in which light and shadow fall across the forms. That's really my subject matter.

"To have anything else in there is really just an interference."

The smile may be an attempt at a Mona Lisa type enigmatic smile. I think it doesn't work as this isn't how her personality comes across to the public and I'm sure in her private life she has a radiance that is lacking in this portrait. A portrait ( as far as I've been taught ) is a collaboration between the sitter and artist and this is how emotion, empathy, power and vitality is found so it connects with the viewer in the finished painting. The best portraits have this, but this doesn't imo. The process of taking photographs seems to have inhibited Kate and stopped her from giving her true self to this artist. The smile seems tight and a little forced, she doesn't seem relaxed at all, especially when this is considered an informal style of portrait.

I'm sure if Lord Snowdon had taken photos of her then he would have been able to find the personality we all expect Kate to have.

I would need to see the original to make a valid opinion though as it isn't fair to criticize from low res web images.

The portrait seems to me to show the personality of the artist and Kate's face happened to be the vehicle of that expression this time. His other work comes across as technically very skilled but pedantic and lacking in personality.
LVanDhal 5 126 1 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2013 1:06PM
I looked at the painting again on the bbc news site ( its hard to avoid at the moment as it is getting a lot of flak )
and its just my own personal theory , I think the problem might be that the muscle alignment in the face suggests she was originally smiling with her mouth open, showing her teeth.
Her mouth looks as if it has been repainted to show the lips as closed, and that creates the uncomfortable stress visually in the portrait.
Everyone can see that something is off with the actual face, and it would explain why she looks older as with an open smile the eyes do crinkle, which is acceptable as a smile if the rest of the facial muscles are following the right pattern, but the lips don't sit with the rest of the face, and I would imagine a seasoned portrait painter would not make a glaring error such as that by accident,
but if the painting was almost done and then the powers that be wanted it changed , well,
it wouldn't be the first time in Art history a painter has had to rework an important commission to suit.
Just my theory anyway.
SlowSong Plus
9 7.4k 30 England
7 Feb 2013 6:57PM
I actually saw this for real today at the National Portrait Gallery. It's much better in real life than in the press (obviously). It's very flattering and tremendously soft focus. Quite nice though.

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