This new portrait of the Danish royal family to celebrate the 150th anniversary of The House Glücksburg is absolutely horrifying.
The painting is by artist Thomas Kluge, and depicts Queen Margrethe II and her husband the Prince Consort Henrik seated on a couch, surrounded by their royal heirs.
“The present and future monarchs, H.M. the Queen, T.R.H. the Crown Prince and Prince Christian, all make eye contact with us, while their family members are portrayed in their own universe, unprovoked by the gaze of the spectator,” the Danish Royal Collections museum explains on its website. “The children are at play with the exception of the upright and severe Prince Christian who seems aware of his future responsibilities.”
“Severe” is right:
The creepy portrait — which took Kluge four years to paint and is “a kind of magic realism” — references a painting from the 1880s by Laurits Tuxen that depicts the Danish royal couple with their international family:
The new painting will be exhibited at the Danish Royal Collections at Rosenborg Castle with other royal portraits by the artist from November to March 2014, before it takes its permanent place in the residence of the royal couple at Fredensborg Palace.
Of course, this is not the first royal portrait to draw ire in recent years: A similar controversy erupted over English painter Paul Emsley’s soft-focus oil painting of Kate Middleton in 2012. The first official portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge currently hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London.
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