King Charles’ new portrait sparks controversy

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   May 15, 2024   Update on : May 15, 2024

King Charles, portrait
Photo: Screengrab

King Charles’s first official portrait since his coronation last May was unveiled at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, reports Artnet.

Artist Jonathan Yeo, who was seen beside the king as the work was presented to the public, painted the large-scale canvas, with red dominating its entirety.

The painter is known for replicating the likeness of a whole host of famous faces, including that of David Attenborough, Malala Yousafzai, and Nicole Kidman.

Yeo has also painted Queen Camilla and Prince Philip, the king’s late father.

The portrait measures nearly nine by seven feet, which was commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Drapers, a medieval guild of wool and cloth that focuses on philanthropic endeavors now.

The painting is expected to hang in Drapers’ Hall, which has a gallery dedicated to British monarchs.

The unveiling of the portrait comes weeks after the king resumed public duties, after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Charles sat for the painting four times, each about an hour, since he was the Prince of Wales in 2021.

He is seen wearing a red military uniform in the painting that reflects his role as Regimental Colonel in the Welsh Guards.

The uniform may have played a part in the artist’s decision to use a fiery palette, which has drawn mixed reactions.

A butterfly can also be seen above his left shoulder, apparently a suggestion by the king himself, who saw it as a symbol of metamorphosis and rebirth.

While the king approved the portrait, as did the queen, the public seemed to have a different opinion.

Although were positive comments on the Royal Family’s official Instagram post, declaring the portrait “spectacular” and “stunning,” others have likened the crimson canvas of depicting the king “burning in hell” and “bathing in blood”.

The controversy grew strong due to the reference of the colonial bloodshed thanks to British imperialism.


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