Kate Middleton’s portrait painter has seen his work reacted to worldwide — but the notoriety hasn’t been completely positive for 71-year-old artist Paul Emsley.
Middleton’s portrait painter, by merit of depicting the Duchess of Cambridge in a modern era with internet critique, has experienced the kind of celebrity not unlike that experienced by that woman who “restored” the Jesus fresco last year.
As an artist, Middleton’s portrait painter would certainly come up from some criticism, but, given an age of anonymous and widespread vitriol with a stage, he admits it’s been a bit rough, alright.
According to Emsley, despite being selected for the honor of painting the young royal, intense heat from armchair critics made him doubt his own ability. He admits to Hello:
“At first the attacks were so vicious that there was a point where I myself doubted that the portrait of the Duchess was any good … But now I’ve had time to reflect, I am still happy with it and am getting on with my life. There is nothing I would have changed.”
While artists are used to critique, the man who painted Middleton’s portrait says it did really bug him for a while, and explains:
“Some of the words written about it were so personal … I’d be inhuman if I said it didn’t affect me. When you take on commissions like this it is hazardous and you expect a bit of flak, but I expected nothing like the criticism I received.”
“It felt like a bit of a witch-hunt and people who had not even seen my portrait joined in.”
Middleton’s portrait painter says in the end, he had to “[cope] with the criticism by going back into [his] studio and getting on with it.”