King Charles III
courtesy Jonathan Yeo
Nothing quite divides opinion like a royal portrait and the latest attempt to depict the reigning UK monarch Charles III, by the artist Jonathan Yeo, is no exception. The portrait, unveiled 14 May, shows Charles wearing the uniform of the Welsh Guards, sword in hand, with an eco-friendly butterfly landing on his shoulder. But what do people think of the royal work bathed in red? According to the BBC, Queen Camilla is said to have looked at the painting and told Yeo: "Yes, you've got him." The King, an art devotee, sat four times in all, for about an hour at a time, with the final sitting at Clarence House in November 2023.
Comments posted on social media meanwhile couldn’t quite get past the dominant scarlet hue.“It looks like Dante’s Inferno,” said one. “Love this, the realism of it, the facial features,” said another. Yeo explains on his website that "the vivid colour of the glazes in the background echo the uniform’s bright red tunic, not only resonating with the royal heritage found in many historical portraits but also injecting a dynamic, contemporary jolt into the genre with its uniformly powerful hue". Go judge for yourself—the head-turning portrait will go on display at the Philip Mould Gallery in London from 16 May until 14 June (it will also be hung at Drapers' Hall in the City of London from the end of August).