That portrait...

brianvds

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968
Yes, THAT one.

charles III in ketchup.jpg


This photo of artist and subject is just begging for a caption. :)

"I say, old chap, how did you know I once almost drowned in diluted ketchup?"
 
Well the one remark I read refers to the vulgar, intimate comment Charles famously said to Camilla years ago, taped from a steamy phone call. If you remember what he said he wanted to be, it was said in this portrait it looked like Charles looks like he finally got his wish! I laughed. I admit it. Oh dear me.
I like it. Years ago I wouldn’t have. The more I see it, the more I like it. It’s daring. Especially for a King’s portrait. I think they needed something new and fresh. Every time I look at it I don’t know if he is coming out of the red or falling into the red. Its compelling with his expression. Is it a metaphor whether he and the Monarchy will rise or fall? Does it have a future? I feel concern and weariness in his face. Many cares/ expectations. Also a sincere appeal to us? I think the actual portrait of his head and his hands is exquisite. Some of the closest, best renderings of official portraits I have seen. We have a lot of sculptures and portraits in recent years that were close but not quite right. I am glad they switched up the styles. I find I could stare at this quite a long time trying to figure it out, thinking of all the personal and inherited responsibilities. Out with the STAID official portraits. Besides, there are so many paintings/ sculptures, and many more photographic portraits, we need something creative. I think this portrait symbolizes a lot of things. His emotional state is intriguing. The changing nature of the country and support for the monarchy. For me, he is like a ghost trying to solidify in the mist, before disappearing again. It is said that Charles feels he is in a race to do all he wants to get done as quickly as possible. He knows he will be on the throne for a short time compared to his mother. And possibly moreso now with the cancer unfortunately.
For some, it makes them think of colonialism and the long, sometimes difficult history of the Monarchy. So I say that is a very successful portrait. If you want a perfect rendering, there are realistic artists that will do that.
It’s really impressive, but that’s what all the photographic portraits do.
I am intrigued to know about the red. To me there are so many possibilities.But that face is fleeting in a long line of those that wear the crown. The uniform is secondary. The focus on a face soon gone in the unending line of Monarchs. The faces / individuals change and for a time we get a Monarch with a slightly different personality, and perhaps we will see it, but the duty remains constant.The uniform is representing that duty, yet here we are allowed a short glimpse of the person more than the role. Or even a glimpse of toll being heir and then King. Of fighting to do right and also finding a way to be an individual.
 
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Boss wrote the thesis to go with the painting!
Actually, I too love the likeness of face and hands, which I think captured his character and emotion beautifully.
The choice of red seems to be the real issue here, because it has so many unsavory connotations. Had he chosen yellow or some other hue I suspect the controversy would have been less.
 
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