Why are portraits of the Queen so bad?

Why are portraits of the Queen so bad? May 30 2022 Picture: Sunday Times In the Sunday Times, the Great Waldemar looks back at the Queen's lifetime in portraits, and asks, why are they so bad? The English monarchy has a decent record when it comes to commissioning paintings of itself. Henry VIII showed true perspicacity when he made Hans Holbein his court artist. It was Holbein who invented the extra-wide monarch without whom the Tudor industry of today would have had no monster to imagine. Elizabeth I may never have found a Holbein, but she did control a Tudor image machine that pumped out highly effective presentations of her as the Virgin Queen. Even as bad a king as George IV showed superior artistic taste when he got in Sir Thomas Lawrence to paint him. The second Elizabeth has, alas, presided over a downturn in this story. Most of the painters she has turned to have come from that bleak institution: the Establishment School of Untalented Lackeys. The results have been bad likenesses or very uninteresting ones.

Why are portraits of the Queen so bad?

Why are portraits of the Queen so bad?

May 30 2022

Image of Why are portraits of the Queen so bad?

Picture: Sunday Times

In the Sunday Times, the Great Waldemar looks back at the Queen's lifetime in portraits, and asks, why are they so bad?

The English monarchy has a decent record when it comes to commissioning paintings of itself. Henry VIII showed true perspicacity when he made Hans Holbein his court artist. It was Holbein who invented the extra-wide monarch without whom the Tudor industry of today would have had no monster to imagine. Elizabeth I may never have found a Holbein, but she did control a Tudor image machine that pumped out highly effective presentations of her as the Virgin Queen. Even as bad a king as George IV showed superior artistic taste when he got in Sir Thomas Lawrence to paint him.

The second Elizabeth has, alas, presided over a downturn in this story. Most of the painters she has turned to have come from that bleak institution: the Establishment School of Untalented Lackeys. The results have been bad likenesses or very uninteresting ones.