Friday, January 11, 2013


Kate Middleton and the Huntsman

At first I thought the Duchess of Cambridge's official royal portrait was one of those face-mashes that show how two people's kids might look, and then I thought it was one of those projected-aging things, but it is neither.

And artist Paul Emsley has lots of lovely work on his website.

Be careful out there, Kate.

52 Comments / Post A Comment


Definitely looks like a projected age thing. Put him in the Tower!


Wonderful... Good night!@j



@Emby I wish I could like this a thousand times.


@Emby "And then he look at me with his dead, black eyes...."

raised amongst catalogs

@Emby @TheLetterL Can't stop giggling.

New Commenter Name

I love this, and the whole story behind it. So funny.


@TheLetterL And I say, "Jesus, whya you looka like a shark?" And he say, "I think it look cool", I say, "Okay, they gonna think Ima bad painter, but okay!"




@katiemcgillicuddy "I wan' my money, I needta buy wine!"


Apparently she liked it? Oh, Kate.



@TheLetterL She SAID she liked it; the British stiff upper lip, etc?


@TheLetterL Maybe she was just looking at the hair. He did make her hair look very, very nice.



viewers won't have to peer very closely to see faint dark shadows under the eyes unmasked by Touche Éclat, and the first hint of fine lines.

Leave Kate alone!

RK Fire

@Scandyhoovian But her hair always looks nice! That's not hard to do!

Then again, I always thought she was pretty, and he's managed to kind of screw that one up.

Sincerely, Jane

Did she sit for this while in the hospital for morning sickness? Poor girl.

Hot Doom

The BBC has mostly just been showing a close-up of the eyes, which are quite fine, and is probably to lull viewers into complimentary complacency, but once you zoom out...yikes. Most unfortunate.


Unless ... it's a Dorian Grey painting?

Nicole Cliffe

@teaandcakeordeath Beat me to it!


@Nicole Cliffe
Express or indirect, there's an Oscar Wilde reference for everyone on this thread.

But seriously. She's been looking better and better and that portrait seems to have aged a couple of years ...


@teaandcakeordeath Holy shit it TOTALLY IS.


It's even creepier when you see the whole painting . There's something to be said for painting the whole person in a portrait, not just a dismembered (beheaded?) cropping of them -- especially for a royal.
Can she just ask him to touch it up a little? Seriously, if he simply touched up the mouth and the lines around the mouth, I bet he could make this much less malevolent.


My beloved Kate, my autumn flower, somewhat less attractive now that she's all corpsified and gross...

Nicole Cliffe

He is jealous of her beauty, and will pay for it.

Or, maybe it is magic and the portrait will continue to age and she shall remain perfect.

Edith Zimmerman

@Nicole Cliffe But what if there's like a ... queen somewhere who made him paint her unflatteringly? This story's version of killing her and cutting out her heart, lungs.


@Edith Zimmerman Suri Cruise admitted to it on her blog.

Tuna Surprise

This guy should be a professor of passive-aggressive portraiture.


@Tuna Surprise Excerpt from The Times (behind a paywall):

'He has said that he likes “to emphasise veins, bones, folds and muscles” in his work, but also that he is at pains to be fair to his subjects. “If it is a commissioned portrait, you must obviously aim for a likeness. I aim for a presentable image, though not one that is tinted with flattery.” '

No kidding.

Aspiriationally Natalie

The thing that bothers me the most about the portrait is that it's got this weird soft focus thing going on. Kate is much too young to necessitate such an effect.


@Aspiriationally Natalie But it's soft focus and STILL looks like shit! It's like flaming ice! Nothing makes sense!


This portrait embodies all my fears of having other people draw me, ever.

Nicole Cliffe

RIGHT? I hate being photographed, and that takes a SECOND, and you can say "ew, my chin, delete delete untag."

Then again, ain't no one drawing me.


@Nicole Cliffe The only thing that ever stops me from looking for gigs as a life drawing model isn't the idea of people having pictures of me naked, it's people having bad pictures of me naked.


My favourite comment on the whole thing comes from Twitter user @shoutsatcrows: 'Kate Middleton's portrait makes her resemble a hundred year old Aslan'. Rawr.


Such a delightfully British comment under the article: "Why does the media push stories of these soggy crumpets on us?"


I think the main weirdness here, besides the unnecessary soft focus and decision not to use any colors actually appearing on a human face, is that when Kate smiles, she shows her teeth, and it's gorgeous. Her mouth actually does kind of look pursed when she's smiling with her lips closed, we just almost never see that.


Well, maybe the sitting was scheduled while she was in the hospital, so she sent her mother in her place.

At least they're saving money on having to commission a new portrait in 20 years.

Nicole Cliffe

I really hope she's broken a bunch of hideous snuffboxes in rage and Wills is trying to calm her down.


@Nicole Cliffe

While all the corgis howl and run, because the noise excites them.


My amazingly catty sister: "Yes, it is bad. But it captures the true awfulness of her harsh eye makeup, so I'm torn."

sick burn sister, sick. burn.


@martinipie Actually, I think the opposite! The first thing I thought when I looked at it was that he did her the favor of eliminating her way too harsh eye makeup and didn't put the black eyeliner under her eye. I feel like Kate's terrible eye makeup is the one thing that shows us that she's not perfect, and for that I thank her.


Gah! She looks dead! If you've seen a dead body prepped for a viewing, doesn't it look like the pancake makeup they use on dead people and the sewn-up lips?? All it's missing is the strange pink lipstick.

honey cowl

How is it possible to make The Prettiest Person On The Planet look so... not pretty?


My favorite art teacher was a professional portrait painter, and she would always say that charm is more important than realism in a portrait. Reflecting that your sitter has a wrinkle under her lip is not necessary. Showing her personality, and creating a compelling image, is.

I'm sort of surprised this is the official portrait. It's not very official-looking, and a little bit amateurish.

Molly F@twitter

This is the best explanation I've seen.


I think it looks just like her.


That is not flattering. She looks so much older!

tea tray in the sky.

This looks like it was taken from the cover of a V.C. Andrews novel.

Allie J

@tea tray in the sky.

Nailed it.


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