Kudos to painter Paul Emsley for transforming Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, into a middle-aged woman. The painting, which was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, and given by Sir Hugh Leggatt in memory of Sir Denis Mahon, through the Art Fund, also comes with a delightful promo video. Art Historian Christopher Lloyd helpful guides viewers through the painting, with a series of observations about what makes this portrait so great.”One of the wonderful aspects of this portrait is the sense of mystery.” he tells us, before explaining that said mystery is caused because the hair around her face has a sense of movement to it. Also, the background is a dark color.
Lloyd goes on for three minutes like this, identifying virtuosity where we once only knew description. To whit, a paraphrasing of some of historian’s final thoughts: Don’t let your eyes leave the painting without noticing the connection between Middleton’s eyes and earrings; they are both circles.