New portrait of Prince William unveiled: is this possibly the worst portrait ever?


I think portrait painting is a lost art. We no longer have much of a need for it these days, because for the most part, we consider photographs to be “formal portraits.” Whenever someone important needs a portrait, it’s always weird to hear that there’s a line of old-school portrait painters just waiting for the gig. Royals still sit for portraits. And sometimes the results are mixed. Like these photos. Painter Dan Llywelyn Hall unveiled his new portrait of Prince William at Gwydyr House yesterday and OMG YIKES.

Just how bad is this portrait? REALLY BAD. This isn’t even the first royal Hall has painted. He painted the Queen last year, and that portrait was widely slammed (I’m including that image below). Personally, I think this William portrait is WAY worse than the Queen’s. Hall titled this portrait “Fatherhood” (???) and he included the red poppy that William often wears because the painting is going to be sold at auction “in aid of The Victoria Cross Trust and War Memorials Trust.” Hall said: “Fatherhood is a portrait about a universal theme: the concerns, hopes and aspirations of a family man.” Er… really? Okay. I do think the artist is hot though. But maybe not so much with the painting, mmkay?

I think this portrait of William is worse than Kate’s Portrait of Dorian Gray-looking Ghost Duchess thing from a few years ago. Although now I can’t wait for Hall to try his hand at painting Kate. OMG.

hall queen


Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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240 Responses to “New portrait of Prince William unveiled: is this possibly the worst portrait ever?”

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  1. Audrey says:

    Oh. My. God.

    I don’t know what else to say

    • Tanguerita says:


      • We Are All Made of Stars says:


      • Belle Epoch says:

        [Big sigh] My DH is a portrait painter. A good one. We could have used this commission!!! This is ghastly.

    • feebee says:

      I don’t know how he did it but the “artist” has made him look a bit like Chris Christie.

    • Faye says:

      The painter is straight-up trolling, right?

      • kri says:

        Totally subversive. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, that is some Mad Magazine level troll. Who the f^ck would re-hire him? LOL

      • Liberty says:

        Has to be trolling. I am dying laughing. This is like something from a Sasha Baron Cohen gotcha script or a Will Ferrell movie.

        And look at the “artist’s” smug little face! hahahhaha! Junior is so proud! “I am being subversive and only my friends know! tee hee!”

        The mouth alone is priceless — it’s like Justin Bieber crossed with Finding Nemo.

      • littlestar says:

        Yes! Hahahaha. Look at the smirk on his face in the last picture. He knew what he was doing! 😀

        The look on portrait William’s face just says “durrrrrrr” hahaha.

    • Nordic Noir says:

      At least it doesn’t have the creep-factor of the new(ish) portrait of the Danish royal familiy: – I swear princess Isabella looks like she has been posessed by the devil himself!

      • M.A.F. says:

        WOW. Please tell me it’s on velvet? Because that would be make it even greater. 😉

      • mayamae says:

        That looks like the creepy covers of V.C. Andrews’ books.

      • MaiGirl says:

        I thought the same thing, mayamae. Royals in the Attic? :/

      • CuriousCole says:

        Whoa. Glad I saw that in daylight! I would be angry if I were Crown Prince Frederik or Princess Mary, their two eldest are made to look like some Satanic ritual is being plotted. Children of the Danish Corn.

      • tessy says:

        That’s horrible. It looks like that creepy Kardassian Christmas card.

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        Ok, the little girl bottom left just reminded me of Chucky????? You know, the movie doll killer’??

        as a first sudden glance, of course…

      • Chris says:

        This was, inevitably, in Hello magazine sometime.
        It’s so ruddy far out it’s almost on its way back again. Gawdalmighty. (Bit much foregrounding the kid from ‘The Omen’)
        The Danish queen though, maybe she’s a fan of 70s album cover art, she’s one groovy queen.

      • LAK says:

        OMG…’s Damian at the front!!!

      • ArtHistorian says:

        I actually quite like this painting. And Queen Margrethe is a big admirer of the artist Thomas Kluge – she has been portrayed by him several times, and according to a friend of mine there are several of his works in her private apartment at Amalienborg Palace.

        Portraiture isn’t always about making the subject look pretty. I also has to say something about the sitter – and the one of the DRF is actually quite interesting in terms of its references. It quotes another very well-known royal family portrait of King Christian IX and his family, but it also quotes the baroque aesthetic of the 17th century where the royal portrait really flourished. I find it a very interesting and fascinating group portrait – unlike the portrait of William (it is just ugly and unintersting) – in fact, most of the portrait sof the BRF are simply unimaginative if not downright badly executed.

      • Chris says:

        Arthistorian hi
        Your characteristic fascinating comment made me think…..when was the last time the British RF was painted in this manner, ie as a group? The only one that comes to mind between now and the earlyish 19th c is the procession into St Paul’s for George V’s Jubilee, and that doesnt really qualify.
        One or two stunning solo portraits but no group unless photographed.
        That made me wonder about painting *on*, as opposed to from, a group photo. Gottfried Helnwein could undertake one of those packed balcony shots couldn’t he?! No more difficult than his gigantic landscape ‘paintings’. That’d be terrific, round up every royal they can find and bingo, one photo and no tedious sittings.

      • Chrissy says:

        OMG, it reminds me of the Addams Family TV show. Creepy!

      • ArtHistorian says:


        The image you’re referring to sounds like a “reportage” painting, which is somewhat different from a group portrait. The reportage paintings were a used as a medium to preserve important moments for posterity – and it was a very popular genre before the advent of photography (and in the early years of photography).

        I don’t know about recent portraiture of the BRF – but the group portrait that the Kluge portrait of the DRF references was made by the Danish painter Laurits Tuxen, who also portrayed the royal families of Greece, Russia and England. He did quite a few group portraits and reportage paintings of weddings, coronations, etc. of the BRF. He’s a very interesting painter and I just had an article published on him (not his royal portraits) in a catalogue for an exhibition that has just opened.

        The Tuxen portrait that Kluge’s portrait is referencing:–LauritsTuxen_KongefamilienFredensborg_fotoThorkildJensenCIX_-1.jpg

        Here’s his portrait of Queen Victoria and family:

    • Coco says:

      Is Dan Llewellyn Hall “someone important’s kid”? Yikes.

    • Rascalito says:

      OMG I MUST buy this painting! ………so I can burn it. It’s shocking how bad it is, like the work of a first week art school student. Or maybe that’s what he actually looks like in real life.

  2. GiGi says:

    WTF. These all look like the paintings that line the high school hallways – where the teeth are always wrong. Bah!

    They need to get Rainer Andreeson to paint them. He’s amazing! For my 40th birthday, I swear I’m going to spring for one of his paintings.

    • Esmom says:

      Seriously, I’ve seen middle school paintings that are better than this. On one hand, I can see the appeal of an artist with a “looser” style, but on the other hand I don’t think this guy has the talent. Sad/funny.

      • Cha(r)meleon says:

        I think he has a talent for painting cartoons. Williams face looks positively cartoonesque if you try to give him an expression that is supposed to be sincerely interested in who is speaking to him. The only thing William is sincerely interested in is flying and partying.

    • Swordspoint says:

      Hey Gigi, I just looked at his work — he’s really good! Any idea how much a portrait would run?

      • GiGi says:

        I really don’t know – I’m 5 years out from 40, but I’ve had this goal for a couple of years now, lol!

        I see that some of his work is in the $500-600 range – others much more – $3500 +. Obviously the larger the portrait the more expensive, but I don’t know how much it will cost for a commissioned work.

        I really think he’s the best portrait artist working right now – that I’ve seen anyway!

      • elo says:

        @Gigi that is a wonderful idea for a birthday present to yourself! Commissioned works tend to cost more than buying work outright. I would email the artists and ask to get a round about quote. Also factor in if his popularity is to grow as that will increase the price. If you were to go ahead and make contact with him, it may ensure that you get a better price. So worth the money though. And an aside this portrait is absolutely dreadful. 2nd year art student at best. I’m convinced these artists are totally making fun.

    • halleygee says:

      Was going to say the same thing, I was an art student in high school and college and these really do look like student work.

    • Decloo says:

      I like the Lucien Freud-esque modernist styling but, Lordie, it’s like the artist really hates the Royal Family. Are we quite sure Dan Hall is not actually Morrissey?

  3. It is what it is says:

    I love this. So much.

  4. LadyMTL says:

    I understand that this is Hall’s style but maaaaaan, I can’t stop laughing. Talk about an unflattering portrait, hahahahahahaha.

    • Hautie says:

      I know! I immediately started cackling at how bad this painting turned out. Then to have the painter standing there looking all smug… just makes it priceless.

  5. ickythump says:

    FFS – never ceases to amaze me how these “artists” get to paint the royal family and make a good living …this is fecking awful – and the one of the Queen?? Good job people dont get sent to the Tower anymore or this guy would be toast.

    • Antonym says:

      I kind of like it. (ducks to avoid flying objects)
      My sister is an artist (painting is not her primary medium) and she does something similar. She calls it her ‘ugly’ pictures. They don’t look exactly like you but you can tell they’re you with a few tweaks. I won’t get all philosophical here, but I really like the concept.

      I’m just assuming this artist did this on purposes, if not that’s a different story.

      • Dena says:

        Me 2.

      • Cha(r)meleon says:

        Enlighten us. What is the concept of that picture in your opinion?

      • Faye says:

        To me the concept reads as “Someone just passed gas in my vicinity” or “Why are you peasants bothering me,” but admittedly, contemporary art has never been my forte.

      • Dena says:

        I think he has caught the aloofness & inbred snobbery & insularity of being royal in those portraits. Both have a looking through u & not at you quality to them. That intimate yet distant feel–I am u not yet u–sort of quality.

        Hmmm. One of my favorite movie lines comes from The Madness of King George. In the scene, King George has been given a command. Even in his “madness” his inbred status reasserts itself and comes to the fore. To the command given, King George replies: I am the King. I tell, I am not TOLD. I am the VERB, sir, not the OBJECT.

        That’s what I see in those portraits.😄

      • bluhare says:

        I agree too. Dena and Faye basically had both ends of the same comment. Love it.

      • The Original Mia says:

        What @Dena said.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Go Dena!
        Spot on.

        Say all you want about hating Hall’s style–art is entirely subjective after all–but please don’t disparage him as an artist. Dude has talent.

        This message brought to you by A Huge F*cking Art Snob.

      • Chris says:

        I think it’s your second one…a different story. Painting itself is rare enough these days, just going by art school degree shows, but portraiture is even more scarce, certainly as an artist’s main practice. So a weird effect can occur, embracing evident incompetence simply because we have too few examples of excellence.
        But without the titans of the 18th century; without a Lavery, or a Sargent; and now without Freud, we’re kind of drifting. (And I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about anyway.)

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        I think you know what you’re talking about, for the most part.
        I would say that SKILLED portraiture is quite rare. Painting isn’t as rare as you think, though. Sargent and Freud were brilliant, brilliant painters, but it’s entirely unfair to compare every contempo artist to history’s best.

      • FLORC says:

        Awesome. Art and styles aren’t everyones taste, but it is a talent.

        I was starting to get a bit miffed at the comments this was art class level skill.

        Of course, 1st glance without reading I thought it could be a cartoon interpretation.
        Or that William just got his wisdom teeth removed and his bottom jaw was swollen.

      • Chris says:

        Kitten hi
        Proof that I was waffling, because if I had a point at all (not sure really!) it was that it’s WE who are perhaps lacking, more than our contemporary artists; it’s we who lack exemplars or yardsticks to support our appraisals of modern works. Of course I mran skilled portraiture, and I I do see your point about unfair comparisons: it’s easy to be confident with 18th c portraits, and to tell wheat from chaff, but now, with a painted portrait, character/composition/and whatever you’re having youself etc…., everything’s popularly assessed through eyes fed on photography (= veresimilitude), so a vague likeness often scores well, whether or not other skills are manifest.
        But to h*ll with my ridic/irrelevant witterings… I do think these are very poor efforts, and Queenie especially is atrocious…but ‘worse things happen at sea’. Both are an excellent source of fun today. 😉
        PS edit: I should have emphasised, when saying painting’s getting ever more rare, that though it’s true there are numerous painters out there, it’s def my experience that painting is having to hold out against other media, among fledgling artists.

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        Art is subjective, you’re entitled to like it, I’m entitled to think it is lacking. The artist may have talent, I’m not seeing it in this piece.

  6. Just me says:

    This man is the official painter of the Royals ?????

    • Lolo-ology says:

      There’s gotta be something else going on here. I’m imagining a blackmail scandal involving multiple kickbacks, this being one of them. :/

      • Selena says:

        No he is not an official portrait painter, he is a wannabe. No Royal has sat for him.

      • Allen Smithee says:

        Per the linked article, the Queen sat for the portrait he painted of her.

  7. JulieM says:

    Wow, that’s dreadful. It captures him well.

    • T.C. says:

      I like it because it looks exactly like Wills the brat. The Queens painting though is bad.

      • mayamae says:

        I think the Queen’s portrait is far worse than William’s. Frankly, I think she looks like Charles in drag, and I’ve never thought they looked alike before. The man painted her with those close set beady eyes of Charles. I also don’t care for the detail of her fidgeting with her ring – even if she was truly doing that. This is a woman who’s proven she’s capable of being alert and attentive in the most boring and long events.

      • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

        He MUST be joking at their expense because the SECOND I saw that detail of her playing with her ring I thought of Richard III.


        I guess he painted the hunch on her chest rather than on her back.

      • Chris says:

        Pepsi hi
        Brilliant comment.
        Going OT, but have you read Josephine Tey’s ‘Daughter of Time’? That great portrait’s the core of the novel, in which R.III is acquitted of *those murders*. Fascinating discussion about the man depicted.

      • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

        Hi, Chris.
        I haven’t read it but it does sound interesting, so thanks for the recommendation. I think I’ll check it out

      • bluhare says:

        I’ll second Chris’ recommendation, Pepsi. Very good book. I enjoyed it a lot.

  8. Lou says:

    Why did he give the Queen such an enormous bosom?

    • Jennifer says:

      And no bra….

    • LAK says:

      all see in her portrait is bosoms. nothing else. LOL

    • bluhare says:

      She’s got an enormous bosom.

    • Dena says:

      If you look at the a Queen honestly, she does have big boobs that can appear saggyish. Look at pics of her when she is young. It’s evident. I just figured that the Queen doesn’t like riding shot-gun, so to speak, and that’s why her dresser (Angela Kelly) hasn’t *ahem* made the necessary adjustments to the Queen’s foundations (so to speak)

      • LAK says:

        QM, Zara, Eugenie all have/had big bosoms too. In the case of HM and Eugenie, with a nipped in waist. It’s glorious in reality.

      • Dena says:

        Exactly, LAK. And this is why it infuriates me when I see Eugenie in clothes that do nothing to complement her hourglass figure. Zara has more of a refrigerator shape like the Queen Mother–so that’s a little tricky. But even she could do better.

        I’m not saying that they have to be clothes horses or even gaudy (dare I say it: flashy) BUT they can get clothes to flatter & complement already nice, curvy shapes.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I’d like to see the Yorks in some of HM’s vintage ballgowns, especially the over-the-top creations of the 1950s.

    • msmecury says:

      I know right? I can’t stop starring lol!

  9. Sixer says:

    This guy is a good landscape artist, honest. Can’t imagine why he’s gone into portraiture. It’s like Lucien Freud with the talent removed.

    What’s Willnot staring at? Plane trails in the sky cos he’s a normal father and he’d rather be flying something than changing a nappy? (Or should I say, be down the pub while saying he’s flying?)

    • LAK says:

      Official press release: He’s currently trying out something too secretive for you to know, but don’t worry, he’ll be trying out something else in a minute…oh hell….just wait for the next press release. We think he’ll definitely be doing whatever the press release says he is doing. Sir Baldrick is on the job.

      on a serious note, this remains my favourite portrait of Harry and William. it’s at the NPG in London:

      • booboobird says:

        LOL. that other portrait with Harry. all I can say – Will does not paint well.

      • bluhare says:

        William needs a Baldrick.

        I so agree about that portrait. It’s great.

      • Antonym says:

        @LAK – that portrait is beautiful, so life-like and realistic. Thanks for linking it.

      • GiGi says:

        That’s a great portrait. Thanks, LAK!

      • Illyra says:

        Now THAT is beautiful.

      • ickythump says:

        The portrait of William and Harry is an absolute belter, brilliant.

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        Thanks, this one is good… the other of william culdn’t be worst….. I think I could do a better work with colour pencils… 🙂

      • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

        Anyone who takes the name of Baldrick in vain is free to ‘Sodoff’.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        Oh dear, what an unimaginative piece of art – if a portrait painting can do nothing better than photo-realism then it is a fail.

      • bluhare says:

        I disagree, AH. Can’t believe I’m disagreeing with an actual art historian, but I’m going to. Yes, the portrait is a bit photo realistic in one sense, but in the other it is not. They’re in uniform, yet casual. Formal, yet not. Isn’t that the image they want to project? Henry and Arthur Tudor would have looked similar.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        It is not my job to tell people what to think about art – my field is analysis, not to set myself up as the most authoritative aesthetic judge. i disagree with your arguement regarding the realism. The informality of their poses, the framing of the motif, etc. serve to give the illusion of a snapshot taken behind the scenes – what Barthes’ calls the reality effect. This particular portrait is simply not to my taste – it is too tame, it lacks artistic daring, IMO. Just compare it to one of my favorite royal portraits, of the Danish Prince Consort Henrik:

      • bluhare says:

        Interesting incorporation of the background, AH. I get your take on the William and Harry one, but back to how we project our own feelings onto art, I think that’s how we all want them to look. Hot and military. 🙂

    • Dame Snarkweek says:


    • Sixer says:


      “Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a bevy of flying nannies, a la Mary Poppins!”

      Yes, that one is much better. I like expressionist/naturalistic portraiture – but only if it’s GOOD!

      • Chris says:

        But it so rarely *is* any good! Every year the BP /NPG competition reveals further deterioration, most trying to ape Lucian Freud’s extra dimension, and missing by miles. Grrrr.

      • Sixer says:

        Yes: it’s all Lucien Freud-lite. Entirely missing the point of Lucien Freud.

    • Chris says:

      I think I’ve cracked it. Problem’s the sticky label fell off……this is of course a portrait of Peter Phillips.
      His eloquent expression says: “OK cuz, I’ll do the occasional stand-in for you, but from now on, we’re talkin’ cash, not shortbread from Highgrove, yah?”

  10. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Hahahahaha! I showed this to my husband, and we just spent five minutes trying to duplicate that facial expression. Oh, I’m crying!

  11. NewWester says:

    At least William and Kate can show this portrait to George when his misbehaves and say” if you don’t behave we will have Dan paint a portrait of you,” That would scare anyone into behaving!

    • Frida_K says:

      That, or “If you make that face, it will freeze exactly like your Da’s did…see?”

      Either scenario should be terrifying enough to stop young George in his tracks, I’d think.

    • LAK says:

      or we’ll lock you in a room with that Voldermort painting of mummy.

  12. lisa2 says:

    This is not good. You can go on youtube and find just the average john/jane who can do way better. I have seen videos of just random people drawing or painting beautiful pictures of celebrities.

    and looking at the guy standing next to it looking so proud is very funny to me.

  13. booboobird says:

    Wtf. It looks like it’s melting. Almost could pass for one of those caricature sketches you can get when circus stops in town.

  14. Illyra says:

    Unfortunately, traditional ideals of realism, technical skill, and even beauty have long been out of fashion in the high art world. Basically if it looks too good, and appeals too much to the masses, it’s not considered “true” art.

    This portrait is crap.

  15. Kath says:

    It’s off topic a bit, but a ‘royal correspondent’ recently stated that the reason why William and Kate don’t do many appearances is that Charles won’t let them, as he wants to be the centre of attention now that his mother is finally winding down her work engagements. It also follows on from Charles wanting Andrew and his kids off royal duties etc.

    I do think William is lazy and entitled, but I totally buy this. Charles has always been a petty little man with a grossly inflated sense of his own importance.

    • Hautie says:

      “It’s off topic a bit, but a ‘royal correspondent’ recently stated that the reason why William and Kate don’t do many appearances is that Charles won’t let them, as he wants to be the centre of attention now that his mother is finally winding down her work engagements….”

      I have said this before… but if the Queen wanted William and Kate out there daily… they would be. As much as the screamers want to scream about them being lazy. I have long suspected they were purposely being held back. To make sure that the newlyweds did not eclipse the Queen and Charles. Every time Kate does a public event… the UK press looses it mind.

      And we all know how none of the Royals, never forgave Diana for out shining them for years. They are not about to let that happen again. (And Diana was a title aristocrat too!)

    • Sushi says:

      I do not believe any of it because Harry has been doing a lot royal works and very popular royal. Why is Charles jealous of the older but not the younger son?

      • GiGi says:

        Because the older would be king, naturally. If William becomes too popular, no one sees the need for a King Charles (or King George, likely). Harry poses no threat to the throne.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        Still not completely convinced but damn you might have a point.

      • LAK says:

        1. It’s not a popularity contest. We don’t skip heirs even if the sons are more popular than the father. Charles’s place is secure. end of.

        2. As a matter of fact, it behooves him to make sure the next generation is popular because the peasants won’t think of revolting if there is a chance that they will have a King William [or George/Harry] eventually. If the younger royals are unpopular, it makes Charles – a far less popular heir, unsecure on his perch because the republican movement will rise and sweep him everything the moment HM is dead and no one wants the end to be on their watch.

        3. The idea that Charles is jealous of his sons and is therefore holding them back doesn’t make sense when you see how much he is indulging them and empowering them for official duties – the extravagant spending on official residences and helicopters, the continuous inclusion of the sons in official events even though they don’t receive as much press as Kate.

        4. It is also something that started as chatter on fan blogs by people trying to have rational explanations for William’s [and Kate’s] lack of a work ethic.

        5. It’s become a recurring theme that everything bad reported in WK’s life can be and will be blamed on Charles or HM whilst WK take credit for all the good stuff.

        6. Finally, the royal correspondents are currently pissy at the Palace because their access has been reduced since Charles consolidated. They’ve taken to flipflop-ing and speculating almost as much as we do.

      • Dena says:

        I don’t get why PC is always painted as being jealous. Why must he be jealous of his own children? Why should he be jealous of his children? There isn’t any evidence of that. If anything, he could just have an easier relationship with one son versus the other–if anything. That happens in families.

        Charles is curious, intelligent, aware, engaged, & sympathetic (IMO after having watched & listened to him over the years). William doesn’t look to be any of those things (& doesn’t seem to want to be). If anything, he appears to be very insular & the complete opposite of PC. People who call for William to somehow leapfrog Prince Charles fail to take things like that into consideration. William has big shoes to fill & he like his wife just aren’t ready or up to snuff.

      • Liberty says:

        Thank you as always, LAK. I look forward to your posts. 🙂

      • bluhare says:

        I’m echoing Liberty today. Liberty, will you just add “and bluhare thinks so too” at the end of your posts today?

        Thanking you in advance. 🙂

      • The Original Mia says:

        Exactly, Sushi, LAK, Liberty & bluhare! W&K are just lazy and entitled. Charles wants the monarchy to continue past his reign to secure his limited legacy on the throne. The only way the monarchy survives if if people look on W&K favorably. If they continue in their slack ways, Charles will be the last monarch. Unless, William does all of us a favor and steps aside for Harry, which his ego won’t allow him to do. He may hate being the heir, but he sure does like the perks.

      • maybeiamcrazy says:

        @TOM Can he step aside for Harry even if he wants to? What about George?

      • The Original Mia says:

        @maybeiamcrazy (love the name!), LAK or bluhare would be better to ask, but William can remove himself from the line of succession. Not sure if George is removed automatically or if special legislation would need to be created to do so. I can’t imagine William leaving George in line if that isn’t what he wants for himself.

      • Mel says:

        DENA: I agree, completely. I am always puzzled by those “jealousy” allegations myself.
        I think it all started with Diana. Based on what I’ve read about her, she was the one who started the rumour of Charles being constantly “jealous” of her popularity. Which may – or may not – have been true; but being jealous of your own children is just ridiculous, and I don’t believe he is. He is a parent, after all. A HUMAN parent, regardless of what that crank Icke and his correligionnaires may say. 🙂

        @The Original Mia:
        George would not be removed from the succession line automatically, and nobody could remove him for him.

        One thing that people seem to be unaware of is the fact that the British monarchy (as many other monarchies) are – still – ‘annointed by God’ (whether they actually believe in God or not is another matter). Hence, from the theological and canon law perspective – and the monarch is, after all, the Head of the Church – only God can remove you from the throne or from the line leading to it.

        There has been a notable exception, of course (Edward VIII) – and look how that went…
        If such a thing occurred now, it would probably be seized by antimonarchists as an excuse to propose the abolition of the monarchy altogether.
        (BTW, I am not a royalist myself.)

      • notasugarhere says:

        I think if William wanted out, they’d make a way, and he could take PGTips with him. If he wanted it to happen, they would legally make it happen. He could go to the EU court of human rights and demand freedom for his family if that is what it would take. That stated, he wants the perks so he’ll stay, kicking and screaming and being “modern” all the while.

        It is a very different UK from when HM took the throne, then add in the diversity of the Commonwealth. I don’t think claiming divine right will work in the future, and Charles has already stated he wants to be Defender of Faiths not Defender of the Faith.

        UK 2011 census:
        – Christian 59.3 percent down from 71.7 percent a decade before.
        – Muslim 4.8 percent
        – No religion roughly 25 percent
        – (not everyone answered the question)

      • GiGi says:

        @ everyone- Wow! I don’t think this is what is actually happening, rather this would explain the theory of the Monarchy wanting to keep Wills & Kate under wraps. Sorry for the dustup!

      • ArtHistorian says:

        I have always found it very funny that the British monarchs have been styles Defender of the Faith after the break with the Roman catholic Church. Defender of the Faith (Fidei Defensor) was a title awarded the Henry VIII by the Pope – before all that business with the first divorce, or the King’s Great Matter as it was called in those days.

        I don’t know much about the Anglican Church but have they simply appropriated the papal title?

    • maybeiamcrazy says:

      @Sushi Maybe it is a mix of both. Charles doesn’t want W&K to overshadow him and they don’t mind not working. From what I gathered (although admittedly it is not much) Harry does most of his activities on his time. They don’t count as royal duties. And I don’t think Charles can stop a senior royal from working if he is willing.

    • JulieM says:

      Kath- “Grossly inflated sense of his own importance”. Charles is the Prince of Wales and next head of state. So whether you like him or not, he is important.

      GiGi- Charles will never be passed over for King. It’s his throne, not Williams, who will gladly wait his turn. Actually, I don’t think he even wants to be king.

      • bluhare says:

        I’m on your side of the fence, Julie.

      • Mel says:

        Well said, Julie.

      • Chris says:

        Indeed he is.
        Also, accusations of ‘entitlement’, in relation to important royals, amuses my silly streak, because, well, they *are* entitled! (Make that my ‘ very silly, fit only for a three-yr-old’ streak) I do know how it’s intended in duscussions, but the laffs always trip me up first. I blame Neddy Seagoon.

      • Liberty says:

        Please add me to your fence’s seating chart.

        Hi, bluhare!

        & here’s something fun:

      • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

        Yes, this ‘skip over Charles’ nonsense is exactly that. It was more prominent back when William was enjoying his Tiger Beat salad days but there are some strands of it still in the air. Primogeniture doesn’t play hopscotch.

      • GiGi says:

        Oh, I don’t think this is the actual scenario, lol! I was just filling in the gaps of what some people think. And I actually really like Charles 😉

    • notasugarhere says:

      Also calling absolute BS on this. They do set their own schedule, stated by the Palace. As others have pointed out, Harry is not being held back, is doing a great job, and getting lots of attention. If Charles resented that, they wouldn’t have just sent Harry off to Brazil.

      The BRF is drowning and they need W&K to be extremely popular and hard working. There are many out there who state that they will “tolerate” Charles on the throne, as long as it is a quick reign and then on to William. These are generally the people who believe the spin on the golden boy, and refuse to acknowledge all the good Charles has done and the reality of William.

      HM, who to this day is still horrified by her uncle’s abdication/betrayal, will NEVER pass over Charles for William. Never.

      • Chris says:

        I don’t know about ‘drowning’….. but whatever the case may be, I was recently astounded to see HMQ being used as part of a tourism initiative over in Cork. Huge photos of her laughing with the locals…she’s got quite a growing fanbase in the Republic!

        The BRF, Kate and all her dresses, wedges, eyeliner….God, the tabs and mags have a bottomless well of speculation to play with. I reckon no ‘source’ is any such thing unless another is cited, such as: ‘Clarence House released a statement blah blah….’ If it’s unattributed, it’s guesswork or fiction…..and useful therefore just for entertainment, and that’s fine.

  16. Ag says:

    horrific. i mean, that thing could scare children.

  17. islandwalker says:

    Crikey on a craker. I paint portraits that are not mall portraits but are lifelike. Can someone in the royals please give me a ring? Toss me a bone? Horrible composition and perspective!

  18. Ice Queen says:


  19. Lin says:

    Wow, just wow… It looks… unfortunate. Did he think he was supposed to portray himself?

  20. megs283 says:

    OMG. Is he mid-sneeze??

  21. ArtHistorian says:

    I have many, many thoughts right now – I come back and post as soon as I’ve put them in order. However, I’m not really digging the portrait -it doesn’t even look much like William. Did he sit for it?

  22. Me, myself, and I says:

    The red poppy is worn around Remembrance Day, and that time only. Rather odd to include it in a portrait, though.

  23. Lee says:

    So what are real, talented artists doing these days? Obviously not getting royal commissions for portraiture. What an absolute joke this “work” is! Could it be an elaborate “emperor has no clothes” punk on the royals? Hahahahaha.

  24. kibbles says:

    The Royals should hire the artists who create the White House portraits because those tend to look very good and professional. These artists seem to want to create more abstract paintings when all they really need to create is a straightforward life like portrait identical to what a photograph can capture today. Since I’m not fond of either William or Kate, I just find this to be hilarious.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      A portrait painting is much more than that if it can’t do better than photorealism then it is a fail – and if photorealism is what is wanted, then hire a great photographer. Anne Leibovitz did some great portrait photos of QEII a while back.

      You can find very good portrait paintings that plays around with painterly style and still manage to capture the sitter. However, what you personally like in terms of artistic style is subjective. I find the problem with this particular portrait that I really don’t like this style because it is too crude. I have seem portraits in a similar style but by a better artist – it is actually difficult to manage a portrait in a style like this because the stylistic effects mustn’t really overpower the subject.

      Did William sit for the painter? Because that is actually very very important (and more than 1 or 2 sittings) because the artist really needs to get a sense of the person (and not just his/her likeness). It was exactly this matter, which I found problematic with Elmsley’s portrait of Kate. She didn’t sit more than once or twice and then he worked from a photograph. A photograph is a great aide to portraiture (and large group paintings) but it can’t really be a substitute for the sittings and exchanges between the artist and the subject (the person portrayed).

      Example of what I think is good contemporary portraiture:

      Former Danish PM Poul Nyrup Rasmussen by Michael Kvium:

      Queen Margrethe II by Mikael Melbye:
      (realism in the rendering of the Queen but presented on an abstract field of colour, not in a room and with the silver lions that once were used at coronations, not in the museum at Rosenborg Palace).

      Queen Margrethe II by Nils Strøbek:

      Queen Margrethe by Jørgen Boberg:

      Queen Margrethe is actually one of the most often portrayed monarchs in modern times – she is an artist herself and there many and very different portraits of her – on the spectrum of photorealism to almost pure abstraction.

      Here’s a really wonderful portrait of the Danish Prince Consort Henrik, that shows that verisimilitude can be succesfully combined with a semi-abstract style:

  25. Backwards says:

    It looks like that botched restoration of a religious fresco in Spain.

    • ickythump says:

      Haha! That was hilarious! Get that woman to paint Will’s next portrait – it would be better than this.LOL

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Ha! I totally forgot about that! It does!

    • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

      Oh don’t remind me of that.. she totally destroyed the work of art… I don’t know if they were able to restore it after her damaging it… Anyone knows? Guess I’ll ask my parents later, since they watch lots of spanish tv…

  26. Jaderu says:

    William doesn’t have that much hair. Also, the Queen doesn’t have that much boobage.

  27. Meerkat says:

    I’m trying to imagine what Harry said.

  28. sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

    I just chocke on a cookie…. horrible portrait, horrible….

  29. Skins says:

    Remember when he was young and he was like a teen idol to the girls, Britney Spears wanted to go out with him and all that crap. Look at him now, totally horsefaced. Shame

    • Jayna says:

      He was so handsome when he was 19, 20, 21, etc, but somewhere in his very late twenties, hitting his 30s it went away.

    • Dany says:

      “horsefaced” is such a bad word… but damn it´s true! A friend of mine calles William “Pferdewilly” (german for Horse-Willy)

      • notasugarhere says:

        It “reads” so well but unfortunately I don’t know German. Any idea how Pferdewilly would be pronounced?

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        Hope you know French

        pferde – p-fer (the e is read as french é) -da

        the pf — it’s like saying pff

      • bluhare says:

        William might like that one. Until he realizes it’s about his face.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Thanks for explaining that!

  30. Dena says:

    I like them both. And, yes, the Queen does have big boobs. She always has. Look at her.

    I like that both are non-standard, non-traditional [meaning stiff, obsequious] portraits. Just because they are Royal it doesn’t mean that they must always be represented in the most flattering light & with 2 hunting dogs and a horse in the background. Both portraits I think are accurate if not representational.

  31. Lara K says:

    He looks like he was in a bar fight after mainlining cocaine off the bathroom floor!

    Amazing portrait. It makes my day better just looking at it!
    As very much an anti-royalist I’ll be looking at this whenever I need a chuckle.

  32. Dame Snarkweek says:

    Devil’s advocacy here but what if William and Charles are trolling one another? What if Charles is spoiling/coddling Will and Kate to keep them out of the spotlight? What if the luxurious renovations, light schedules, money for clothes and furnishings, helicopters etc are bribes to keep the Cambridges out of his way, especially if he thinks they are already naturally lazy? And then what if William is getting everything he can get his hands on while he can even if it means taking a beating in public opinin? What if he already planned to lay low until his dad’s ascension anyway, even without the goodies? Lol the rf is so funny sometimes. And i bet Andy just blows his stack every day when he opens his morning paper. However, he has no one to blame but himself. Too bad his daughters have to pay the price, imo.

  33. Nuzzybear says:

    So, they’ll put this on the fridge in Balmoral, then, yes?

  34. msmecury says:

    This is so bad. Okay it’s not that terrible but something is sooooo off around his nose and mouth that just throws everything else off.

  35. Pants says:

    He was pretty generous with Will’s hair though…

  36. Itsetsyou says:

    The Queen’s portrait is really good, actually. Just look at how her face is composed yet her hands are giving away he inner tension.

    Will’s portrait is not so good.

  37. PreciousRobicheaux says:

    So many fine art critics on Celebitchy this morning!

    • bluhare says:

      Not only that, we’re working on nuclear fusion and the grand unifying theory.

      That being said, I agree with you that art, while subjective, is indeed art. Mr. bluhare is an artist and gets horrified if I start talking about a piece looking good somewhere. It’s art not décor!!!!

      • Chris says:

        We’re fortunate to have Goop as our inspiration, in our research into the G.U. theory. (Just gave my cup of tea a piece of my mind and it’s gone all jagged at the edges.)

  38. reba says:

    I think the portraits are wonderful. He captures something real here, which is what painting is about. Things not captured by photographs.
    The foreshortening in William’s face, it’s very bold. William has, I think, something well-meaning yet vacant about him. The teeth border on caricature yet they fit. Teeth symbolize emotions and his are kind of out there yet bland, while seeming kind of worried (what does the future hold for us royals?).
    The Queen is amazing. The tightness around her mouth, the good old stiff upper lip. Very set. There is not too much definition around her. You can’t really know her. But wait, she is twisting her wedding ring. And the brightest, most clear and knowable thing there is her gold pin. Distraction.
    Uh, I like them. The more I look at them, the more I believe he nailed it. Not that I would put them in my house (I prefer landscapes and gentle, more happy things).

    • PreciousRobicheaux says:

      Yes! This. Very well said.

    • dena says:

      Yes. The eye also goes to her watch. The notion of time. Not her age or her reign. But is she impatient with sitting there when you take into consideration the movement captured by her hands? Is she touching her ring for “security”, calmness, a balm or is she impatiently twisting it. (Baby’s sort of comfort themselves in that way, don’t they, in the way in which she is holding her hands?) Is the watch an expensive watch? Unlike the brooch, it doesn’t look to be. It looks like a well-worn cheap Times with an expandable band. What does any or all of that suggest about the person sitting there? Look at her expression. Not necessarily tight-lipped and not necessarily silent but . . . hmm . . is that a small smirk, a secret smile? Look at the eyes, is the person there with you or have they sought escape somewhere else? She looks to have removed herself from your presence and you hers.

      And there is a certain uncertainty or even fear captured in William’s portrait as well. As someone mentioned up-thread, I love how art is subjective. I love looking at what’s there, what’s not there, what is suggested. Like in William’s portrait, for some reason when I look at it I am drawn to the flower in his lapel of all things!!

      • reba says:

        Don’t these paintings just have so much to see! Me too, I love parsing art!
        About the Queen’s seeming impatience, also shown by the way she is placed on the chair – forward at an angle. She is never at ease.
        Also, the way the artist blends the caricature aspect into formal portraiture is refreshing and exciting, in my mind.

    • Liberty says:

      I think the one of the queen is interesting.

      I think the one of William looks like a slap-up rush job or a real purposeful ball smacker.

    • bloopuy says:

      Maybe it just sucks, no need to look that deep into it. LOL

  39. Jayna says:

    That’s an awful portrait of him because the bottom half of his face looks odd.

    The Queen’s portrait reminds me of a cross between a portrait of her and a caricature drawing.

  40. anne says:

    I think the artist was a little to into himself. For the most part the face looks more like a self portrait than the image of William.

  41. June says:

    The best amazing thing ever. Oh my god it’s amusing me so much. I hope it hangs up on the wall of the royal halls forever and ever.

  42. huh says:

    It looks like an illustration from a Roald Dahl book..

  43. Mrs McCubbins says:

    I used to date an a very well known American Artisit whose paintings sold for thousands. When I first saw his paintings I thought they were awful but then he taught me a few things regarding art. I now see things differently and these are actually quite good although my first thought upon looking at them were YIKES!

    • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

      Yeah, technique is one thing, but he could have chosen a better angle of Will’s face… He looks like he’s making a “Wha…?” face…

      • Mrs McCubbins says:


      • reba says:

        He is looking up and to the right – that is where the future lies. He does not seem too sure… I think the angle of the face is brilliant.

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        He could look up and to the right (future) with his mouth closed?? lol

      • reba says:

        LOL but then he would not look so worried…

      • Dena says:

        I think the balance between his body and the open space in the background speaks to the openness and weight of that uncertainty. Hard to explain but only that they feel is not present in the Queen’s portrait. That tone or mood could also be a result of color.

        Like you, Reba, I like the mix of caricature in there. That in itself is significant.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      That’s the thing about art appreciation – it is about looking, and then looking again – and looking closer. Though it is great if one has the knowledge about art history to contextualize it, it isn’t necessary for the appreciation of a work of art – that is simply looking closely and repeatedly and then thinking about what one sees.

  44. M.A.F. says:

    I saw it over at Lainey and wow. Every artist has their own style & I suppose they could fall into the different categories of art (I mean are there impressionist artist out there? I don’t follow the modern day art world) but this is, I don’t know what. It can’t really be an official painting, can it?

  45. Hissyfit says:

    It’s terrible! I’d be pissed if I was Prince William! Haha.

  46. Leslie says:

    What a terrible portrait.

  47. hmmm says:

    Wow! I haven’t read comments yet. I especially love the one of the Queen.

    What the artist has done is humanised them, taken them off the glamour pedestal (aka, their high horse) to reveal how common/plain/unspecial they are. Not gods after all, just a tad dense, and in the Queen’s case, a wee bit Machiavellian, in Willy’s case, self-absorbed and indifferent. I hope against all hope he does one of Waity!

    BTW, seeing this makes me yearn for Spitting image. I would love to see their rendition of Waity.

    • notasugarhere says:

      My guess at a Spitting Image KM:

      – She’d toss her knee-length hair around constantly like Janice from the Muppets, and walk into walls because she couldn’t see through the hair.

      – Her character would wander around the Palace asking, “Big Willy, when does the plane to Mustique leave?”

      – Prince Philip would be heard muttering, “Lillibet, sic those d*mn corgis on her already.”

      – She would accidentally concuss herself by whacking her head against a door frame mid-hair toss, which would be an excuse to stop doing royal engagements for 5 years.

      – In one special episode, we’d discover that HM’s favorite corgi had gone missing, only to be found trapped in KM’s wiglet.

      – Alternatively, HM’s favorite corgi and KM’s wiglet would reproduce, creating a new breed of house pet – WigLis or CorLets.

      Thanks, Hmmm. I needed a laugh today, and thinking of Spitting Image Does Waity did it.

  48. ickythump says:

    The one of the queen looks like stanley baxter – no-one will know who that is…google stanley baxter as the

  49. Cordelia says:


  50. Cordelia says:

    Also, the portrait resembles ‘Simon Watkinson’- the man who impersonates PW… than it does the actual prince.

  51. Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

    If this fellow were around during Henry VIII’s time, he could have prevented the disastrous marriage to Anne of Cleves and Thomas Cromwell wouldn’t have to endure four whacks with a wet noodle because this is some reverse Holbein witchcraft that I’m seeing on that canvas. It’s not important what is real name is, it should be Shit Van Dyck.

    But I’m always a little glad when someone makes the monarchy look like the assholes that they are.

  52. ralyra says:

    William looks like he is using his tongue to dislodge something between his teeth. Not flattering at all.

  53. Maria of MD says:

    You can find hella better portrait artists all over the place: deviant art, facebook. Where do they find these mediocrities?

  54. Miss Jupitero says:

    Ach, my eyes might bleed.

    Read my lips Royals: Jerome Paul Witkin.

  55. Altariel says:

    Thanks for that! I needed a good laugh right now. How awful, wow what a joke! Looks like Lurch and the Prince spliced together.

    The one of the queen at least looks a cartoonish interpretation of her. Still don’t like it, but it’s nothing compare to how much I loathe the creepy one of Kate. That one still gives me nightmares.

  56. Emily C. says:

    Why do they keep giving this guy jobs? Does he know something about them that they want to keep quiet? Because wow, these are hideous.

  57. MinnFinn says:

    Like beauty, art is in the eye of beholder. William did not commission this painting which ought to impact the viewer’s perspective. The artist did not intend for these portraits to have a traditional or classical aesthetic that conforms to royal portraiture we would see hanging in BP. I absolutely believe that interpretation of art is a Rorschach test for both the creator and viewer. I like how the artist plays with emotion on their two faces. Neither of their facial expressions are overtly communicating a particular emotion but at the same time they both look very expressive to me. As viewer, I feel like I’m gazing upwards towards the sitters. Hmmm, I wonder if that’s what the artist wanted. Also, for me, William’s poppy represents his ongoing angst or demons over his mother’s death. I wonder how I would interpret their facial expressions if I knew nothing about them. This I am sure of, my own mood of the day would definitely change how I interpret these two portraits.

    I’ll be interested to see how much Willy’s portrait fetches at the auction.

    I really like these, not for official royal portraits but for other reasons. Kate’s official portrait, I really, really hated because it wasn’t a traditional royal portrait and because of the passive-aggressive message I thought she was transmitting.

    • Chris says:

      Past my bedtime so I’m even more muddled/banal than usual, but two parts of your comment highlight an interesting question:
      Do we judge portraits through a filter of our attitude to the sitter? Would either of these get a second glance, if portraying an unknown person? And do we dismiss as failures, paintings of persons we dislike?

      That then leads to the ‘art is in the eye of the beholder’ part. Both true and false, imo, in that an artist arrogates to herself the power or ownership of the term (vide That Bed, or earlier, Those Bricks) and on the other hand, that claim is perenially dismissed in the case of a Scottish painter that no curator will accept as an artist, no matter how many posters are sold of his work.
      I’m fumbling for a way to say that the viewer can react to a painting to her heart’s content, love or loathe, but ‘Art’ as a term is not so democratic. It’s restricted to and concentrated in the few, like the priesthood in ancient Egypt. Indeed, I think this is why so many people seek recognition as ‘artists’ (I’m thinking of a current lingerie starlet!)… has a strong mystique. You find few people clamouring to be known as ‘historians’ or ‘economists’.
      (And if you can find any point at all in all this rambling, you win a Vettriano postcard or a badge from the Tate! No idea now what I was really getting at) 🙂

      • MinnFinn says:

        Chris – Neighborhood fireworks that got the dog barking woke me up. So your muddled/banal query — right back at you with my addled/sleep-deprived response. This could be interesting.

        Your 1st three questions. 1. We can’t help but judge portraits by filtering them through our own attitude toward the sitter. But it seems to me that the degree of bias entering one’s judgment varies depending on an individual’s training, meta-cognition and fiduciary obligation to the artist. 2. A viewer’s motivations (fx previous level of interest in art or celebrity) and other factors affect whether or not a portrait such as these get a second glance. 3. See answer #1.

        As for ‘art is in the eye of the beholder’, I was not clear so let me rephrase that — what is appealing in a piece of art is in the eye of the beholder. I wasn’t commenting on who and what qualifies as art and artist.

        In my view, art is not of and for the rare elite. It is democratic but then my working definition of art seems to be very different than yours.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        We always react to art through our emotions, knowledge and pre-conceptions. We can’t really remove those, but we can be aware of them. And yes, people often react to portraits based on their opinion of the sitter – if it is a person they know or a well-known public person. It is often different with centuries-old portraits, especially if it portrays people that one doesn’t have any pre-conceptions about.

      • Chris says:

        If by a miracle you nip back, can I say that, as I feared, I utterly failed to make an intelligible let alone intelligent, point above. Ended up facing entirely the wrong direction.
        Bit late to try again, but I hope we meet again soon, nice to meet you .

    • Dena says:


      U wrote: As viewer, I feel like I’m gazing upwards towards the sitters. Hmmm, I wonder if that’s what the artist wanted. Also, for me, William’s poppy represents his ongoing angst or demons over his mother’s death.

      Alls I can say is there is something about that poppy too that called out to me. And yes, sitting and gazing upward. I like that.

  58. Bob Loblaw says:

    My mother hired an artist to paint my step-father’s portrait, it was expensive but the portrait is amazing and is ten thousand times better than this one of William.

  59. melain says:

    I think both portraits look like the painter. Like he’s painted parts of himself into the queen and the Prince.

  60. Reece says:

    It’s late but I’m up making ribs sooo here’s my 2cents…
    This makes me think of death. Here me out! He’s wearing a poppy. I know it’s says it’s to do with military affliliation but a poppy, that particular poppy, is representative of “In Memoriam” military. (Being sold for a memorial) Then he’s looking upwards with this light coming up behind him and it’s like, is he dying? Is he about to turn around and walk to the light? WTF? His facial expression is kind of surprised. Not a shock but an interruption.
    Maybe he’s supposed to be heading out of the dark into the light and a new future but it’s just doesn’t come off that way.
    I think the overwhelming negative reaction people here have had (and probably elsewhere) to it is possibly a subconscious reaction to that.

    Edit: That Dorian Gray portrait of Kate is way worse imo. At least this is a style or some sort.

  61. isabelle says:

    Good grief!! Utterly. Shocking.

  62. Jag says:

    Are these paintings a Royal version of the “caricature?” I can’t think of any other explanation.

  63. barone says:

    speaking as a fellow artist his style is great, i love the queen portrait, but hes in the wrong line of work. i’d love to see him do one of keith richards

  64. Lahdidahbaby says:

    Oh my god. It’s the painter’s version of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

  65. SamiHami says:

    Wow. That guy is a dead ringer for Paul Rudd. But he’s an awful artist. Wow again.

  66. ickythump says:

    Art is for everyone – everyone has an immediate reaction to it – you like something or you dont. Its a gut instinct – it is overanalysed in a lot of cases and the elite art world types can talk absolute bollocks about some pieces of art and make out that its because you are ignorant and not part of the elite that you dont understand it and that annoys me.. people flocked in droves to Jack Vettriano’s latest exhibitions but the “art world” would have you believe he’s not a real artist – pure snobbery IMO. OK, hes not Leonardo but he is as valid as anyone and paints what he knows. And he would’ve done a better job than this guy.

    • Illyra says:

      I agree. If a piece of art needs an explanation in order to shift from something you think is pure garbage into something you like (or at least appreciate on some level), then it has FAILED as a visual medium. Great works of art are timeless and they transcend language, culture. No one needs to be familiar with Greek, Roman, or Christian mythology in order to feel the power of Bernini’s sculptures, for instance.

      This is not to say that opinions of what is good art and what is bad don’t vary… of course they do, the same as tastes in clothing or music vary. The main thing I’m sick of is professional BS artists taking taxpayers’ money in exchange for works of “public” art that 90% of the public is totally repelled by. I mean if that isn’t a slap in the face (and a big “f**k you”), then I don’t know what is.

    • Chris says:

      Just re Vettriano: though he’s the (only?) one with the sales and the profile, there are versions of him in most major cities and their public galleries. ‘My’ gallery would rather leave its walls empty than grant an exhibition to such an artist. Thus, in order to offer a broadbased exhibition programme, they alternate cerebral international multimedia stars with grim local newspapers’ sports photographs, and occasional historical painters that nobody objects to. What they never do is cater to popular acclaim. What they routinely do is multiply their attendance figures by a factor of about 8 when funding comes up. It’s a racket, and there are swathes of citizens who’d never set foot in the beautiful building because they feel intimidated and unwelcome, and no bloody wonder.
      God, if the directors can be plainly dishonest, and can roll over for superstar art, wouldn’t you think their innate cynicism would let them embrace the Vettrianos out there, just to get the punters in, and seek to expand their tastes, through their magnificent permanent collections?
      Personally, I think JV is pretty bad, but I realky don’t believe that’s what bars him. Those who dictate these things simply don’t want to give away their power by acceding to the popular choice. (That’s what I was trying to get at before, tho I ended upside down and backwards)

      • ickythump says:

        Chris yes, power is everything – that they would rather hav empty walls is disgraceful. Thou I do think a lot of people visited th Jv exhibitions purely becos we are not supposed to.