There is always a complex psychological relationship between the sitter and the painter, since the explosive issue of the construction of identity is a potent assemblage that continues to adapt itself in the modern world. But its often an ambivalent relationship. Call it realism and its discontentment. The sitter is complicit and expects some role in the creation of the painting in question, thus crossing the frontier into artistic autonomy. The act of memorializing for future generations, is somewhat narcissistic, the yearning for posterity and the shared commitment to tradition juxtaposes image, symbol and a perception of what they want the world to perceive them to be resulting sometimes in an opening of the humanity of the sitter as an exceptional piece of art or, the artist fails to express to the sitter that the portrait will not necessarily look like you, but that it will be a convincing and coherent symbol of who you are….
An artist, who is known for his nude paintings, has painted the Queen’s latest portrait. Darren Baker, 35, who is renowned for his “classical realism” style, and is a graduate of Bradford Art College, painted the portrait of the monarch. It shows the Queen looking relaxed in a royal blue dress, pearl necklace and black court shoes. She also wears a brooch with a spray of five poppies.The portrait was commissioned to mark the Royal British Legion’s 90th year and the 85th birthday of the Queen, its patron. “My aim was to capture the grace of our wonderful monarch while incorporating the essence of the Legion,” the Daily Mail quoted Baker as saying. It was unveiled at a service in Westminster Abbey, where Sir John Kiszely, national president of the Legion, described the work as “remarkably realistic”.Read More:http://zeenews.india.com/entertainment/articles/story96822.htm
…But others, including Freud, have expressed doubt that a portrait can catch the character of someone at all, or whether that’s even the point of the exercise.
“Many people are inclined to look at portraits not for the art in them but to see how they resemble people. This seems to me a profound misunderstanding,” Freud once told art critic Sebastian Smee. “If you think of Rembrandt, the people who sat for him were all bankers and merchants and probably really unremarkable people, but we’d have to believe they were all absolutely filled with spiritual grandeur. I don’t think they were. Rembrandt may have been.”Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/contributors/in-the-eyes-of-the-beholder-20100212-nx2g.html#ixzz1bTWDwUAt
Freud painted the Queen’s portrait for free – thus eliminating the money power aspect of the sitter artist dynamic. It was a dynamic between the Queen and her portrait painter. Some say he painted the ageing Queen as ruthlessly as he had painted his ageing self. There may be something to be said for an artist and a Queen both coming to terms with death and no longer concerned with the image of youth and power.
The traditional purpose of the royal portrait is to declare the immortality of the class system. Reverential appearance loaded with symbols of power and deference to position becomes the cultural norm.Freud’s portrait composition has focused on the top front part of the Queen’s neck, face and bottom to middle part of her crown. There are no symbols to indicate her true social position.
Freud does not provide her face with a smooth sensual paint finish meant to replace the beauty of her past youth. He hints at his ability to accomplish that wizardry on the collar and background of her blue jacket. He does not present her to the world as just another vain old Queen.
The Queen and her artist have agreed and in that agreement they both equally created a strong primary image. It is a royal portrait masterpiece that now occupies a position in the royal collection. Read More:http://www.tinmangallery.com/portraits/queenFreud/queenPortraitFreud.html
…Portrait artists are just born losers, Australian artist Sam Fullbrook once said. “It is a licence to make enemies”. Fullbrook — he of the tender, ever-so cloudy paintings in finely judged colours — could, I am sure, turn lots of topics into a battleground but there’s no denying there have been some almighty bust-ups over portraits.
In the late 1950s, Melbourne gallery owner Anne Purves took a John Brack painting of her that she perfectly loathed, placed it on top of the burning barrel in her back garden and set it on fire. Brack, in turn, was so insulted he never had anything to do with Purves or her gallery again.
Just a few years earlier, an elderly Sir Winston Churchill had also found a portrait of him preying on his mind. The “force and candour” of Graham Sutherland’s painting made the wartime prime minister uneasy. So uneasy, in fact, that his wife Clementine took it upon herself to destroy the picture in a fit of pique the English artist lambasted as “vandalism”. And then there was Augustus John, frequently running into trouble for the “cruelty” of his portraits, with the wealthy Lord Leverhulme ending up so deeply upset by John’s portrayal of him in 1920 that he cut out the head.Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/contributors/in-the-eyes-of-the-beholder-20100212-nx2g.html#ixzz1bTVW9ZxR
In total, there have been twenty-six portraits used on the various banknotes bearing the likeness of Queen Elizabeth. This study identifies the twenty-six individual portraits that have been used and also identifies the numerous varieties of the engravings, which are based on the portraits. The varieties of portraits on the banknotes are due, in the main, to different engravers, but there are some varieties due to different photographs from a photographic session being selected by different printers or issuing authorities….Apart from the portrait of Queen Elizabeth as a young girl on the Canadian 20-dollar notes of 1935, the earliest portrait used on the banknotes is Portrait 6, which appears on the Canadian notes issued in 1954. The portrait used for the Canadian notes was taken in 1951 when Elizabeth was yet to accede to the throne. Undoubtedly there was a touch of nationalism is the choice of the portrait, as the photographer, Yousuf Karsh, was a Canadian. Karsh was born in Turkish Armenia but found himself working in Quebec at the age of sixteen for his uncle, who was a portrait photographer. Karsh became one of the great portrait photographers of the twentieth century and took numerous photographs of The Queen, although this is his only portrait of Her Majesty to appear on a banknote….Read More:http://www.pjsymes.com.au/QE2/default.htm