Sunday, April 7, 2013

Queen Elizabeth II

 Lucian Freud was the grandson of the famous Sigmund Freud. He painted "Queen Elizabeth II", and it created a lot of stir, as anything regarding royalty tends to do. Freud got the commission via the queen's private secretary, of whom Freud had painted a portrait. He viewed painting the inner life of such an iconic face as a ultimate challenge. He choose a smaller canvas, and used broad, almost structural strokes to create the piece.
People were outraged when they saw this portrait, comparing it to the look of a rugby player, a bearded man, and a stroke-inflicted dog. Some hypothesize that the common viewers did not like the portrait of the queen because they had a different perspective of her than the artist. Freud was able to see the queen face-to-face multiple times in different and more intimate situations than the common subject. Because of this he formed in his head a unique impression of her.
Others compare this portrait to a portrait of the artist themselves. Often when painting royalty, the artist projects his or her own image onto the sitter as a sort of alter-ego of themselves. The queen's hair color and shape of the eyes, lips, and chin all resemble that of the artist. In the artist's self-portrait, his hair has a form similar to the queen's crown.
(this last link has the information about the painting in the second slide, under "more information")

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