The portrait of Catherine, Princess of Wales in Tatler magazine provokes discussion

Image Credit: Hannah Uzor/Tatler

Tatler magazine released a portrait of Catherine, Princess of Wales, in its July issue, igniting controversy among viewers and critics alike. The portrait, painted by Hannah Uzor, captured the princess during the first state banquet of King Charles III’s reign. Although intended to highlight her “strength and dignity”, public opinion is divided.

Hannah Uzor’s artistic approach involved studying numerous photographs to piece together subtle human details about Catherine since no live sitting occurred. Uzor explained her method as focusing on recurring gestures and expressions to layer the personality of the princess into the artwork. She described “all my portraits are made up of layers of a personality, constructed from everything I can find about them”.

The painting was notably influenced by a recent video where Catherine announced her cancer diagnosis – adding emotional depth and context to its creation. However, despite these intentions, reactions to the portrait were mixed. Criticism came swiftly on social media platform X, with comments ranging from seeing the depiction as a “bad GCSE project” to calling it disrespectful for not resembling the princess accurately. One commenter noted although they recognized an attempt at conveying strength and dignity, the portrait failed in likeness.

Conversely, some defended the artistic nature of Uzor’s work. Positive feedback included appreciations like “It’s art, not a photo” and exclaims like “It’s beautiful”, demonstrating how art perception varies greatly between individuals.

Critical reviews were harsher. Alastair Sooke from The Daily Telegraph called the piece “Intolerably bad” with “no flicker of resemblance” to its subject while Kate Mansey from The Times voiced her uncertainty awkwardly hinting at confusion over the outcome.

This reaction contrasts sharply with previous royal portraits such as Jonathan Yeo’s portrayal of King Charles III which despite being dramatic with lurid red brushstrokes received approval from the monarch himself.

Hannah Uzor is known for her distinctive approach that delves deeply into personal nuances through photos due to often not meeting her subjects in person. This methodology provides insight into her attempt at portraying Catherine not merely by appearance but through ethos in trying circumstances given recent health issues publicly shared by the princess.

Related Posts