Art Friday: Paul Emsley

What do you think? Do you like this portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge?

This is the first official portrait of the Duchess and she requested that it be natural rather than her "official" self.  I like it, its not regal but it shows a beautiful young woman (and I just love that hair).

One critic described it as dull, boring and the sort of thing you would find on the High Street (a very common feel to it). I disagree. 

The artist is Paul Emsley
Glasgow born (1947), South African raised

Link to the artist's website which contains a brief biography:

Here are some other examples of his works.

Self portrait

What do you think of these other portraits? I think they are amazing. 

For more of his works:


  1. Wow, I love this paintings! The are so 'real'. Thanks for showing it on your blog.

  2. His paintings are wonderful, Kate looks great not quiet smiling but amused about something, I wonder if she like it that is all that matters.

  3. I like his work but can't say I think he did the Duchess any favours. I do think it's dull ~ especially when compared to his other work. Her natural vivacity seems to be missing to me. Pity as I think she is lovely.

  4. An amazing artist. Some of them look more like photographs. I do not think the painting is dull at all, but I do think she looks a bit 'old'. Maybe it's because she is not smiling, just a little smirk. Then again, that might be her usual and "natural" expression. It must be hard to have your work and your portrait so criticized.

  5. Those are rather amazing!
    I think the painting of Kate is lovely. If anything, I would say the portrait makes her look a bit older than she looks in photos. But it's a good likeness!

  6. I do like it, but I agree with the comment someone (?) made saying that she was so beautiful that it is difficult to give her any character.. His portraits of older people are better for that reason, I think. He is a very talented artist though.

  7. nice post thank you for sharing...blessings

  8. Wow - i like the pic of Kate. She is gorgeous though so any picture of her is bound to look stunning!!

  9. I have to agree with those who think the Duchess' portrait is dull. But then, I don't really care much for simple face portraits anyway. I like more movement and communication in a portrait myself.

  10. I really like it - I've had a hard time finding any pictures on the internet that do it justice. I get a sense that it's translucent, and has depth, and is a really fine painting. Kate wears too much makeup and that blouse is frumpy, and not flattering at all. It would have been very interesting if he had painted her in something more regal, but I have read she wanted something relaxed looking. I think he got her just fine, and all the publicity made me look, and I really like him and his work, and will be looking forward to seeing more.

    1. I remember the first painting done of the Australian Princess Mary of Denmark dressed in her royal gown and she looked so stunning - Kate would have looked good as you say in something more regal. The blouse is perhaps too old for her and not very relaxing if that is the imagine she wanted. But I do think his work is lovely.

      Thanks for stopping by:)


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