Official Portrait to be painted in honour of the Duchess of Cambridge’s 30 birthday
Royal insiders have hinted that Kate Middleton will have her portrait painted to celebrate her 30th birthday. An online art website reported last week that a ‘Clarence House’ spokesman revealed “The commissioning of the Duchess of Cambridge’s first official portrait is currently under way through the National Portrait Gallery,” The NPG is one of the organisations chosen by the Duchess of Cambridge for official patronage. The commissioning of an official portrait is considered a step towards taking on her full role as the wife to the second in line to the throne of England. It is a perfect way for her to make a mark, showing the public her brand of taste and style. The question remains, who will Kate choose to be the artist for such an important Royal commission?
The Queen has sat for 145 official portraits during her lifetime, two of which were with The Duke of Edinburgh. A recent sitting was for Rolf Harris (2005). Her Majesty was just seven years old when she sat for her first portrait in 1933, which was commissioned by her mother and painted by the Hungarian artist Philip Alexius de László. She has also sat for Lucian Freud the highly respected British painter who died last year. Portraits of the Queen have also been produced by Andy Warhol and the German artist Gerhard Richter. Many of these works will be shown in an exhibition “The Queen: Art and Image,” which will tour the UK during the monarch’s Diamond Jubilee starting next summer.
St James’s Palace announced on 5 January, the choices of patronage for the Duchess of Cambridge and it was no surprise that it included two high profile visual art organisations. The National Portrait gallery and The Art Room. The NPG holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. The Collection is displayed in London and in a number of locations around the United Kingdom, including several houses managed by the National Trust. The Gallery is increasingly keen to find new ways to share the Collection through the National Programmes, as well as through this website. Like other national museums, the Gallery is supported both by government and increasingly by a large number of individuals, companies, trusts and foundations, as well as by the receipts from ticketed exhibitions, shops, catering and events.
It will be interesting to see how adventurous the Duchess is and whether she will choose a traditional artist or a cutting edge artist to paint her likeness.
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