Queen Elizabeth's Portrait for New Stamp Prompts Snide Comments

Friday, 31 May 2013 11:30 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II has art critics up in arms, with some calling it "abominable" and others saying the monarch resembles "a bloke with a wig."

The portrait, by artist Nicky Philipps, was commissioned by Britain's Royal Mail for a stamp to commemorate the queen's upcoming 60th coronation anniversary.

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And though the Royal Mail seems happy with the piece — Philip Parker, head of stamp strategy at Royal Mail, told the British media he considered it an "excellent portrait" — others aren't as pleased.


"Isolate the face so you see only the features and it is certainly unrecognizable as the Queen," David Lee, editor of satirical art magazine The Jackdaw, wrote. "As usual the real problem lies with the likeness. The facial features aren't right. She doesn't actually look like this, and never has; a distant foreign relative of the Queen perhaps, but not the Queen herself."

"It's Thatcher meets Rumpole of the Bailey meets Hogarth, in Hogarthian England all the worse or perhaps the better for a glug of gin," Estelle Lovatt, an art critic and lecturer, told The Telegraph. "It's surely dreadful, embarrassing, monstrous. It looks more like my neighbor than the Queen."

Portraits of the royals are often harshly criticized. Earlier this month, artist Dan Llywelyn Hall's expressionist-style painting of the queen was likened to a "drag impersonator."


Similarly, the official portrait of Kate Middleton, which was unveiled in January, was bashed by the media who claimed it made the Duchess of Cambridge look old.


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