(One more picture) “Are you in a burning hell?” Criticism of Charles III portrait – Chosun Ilbo VRESP

Portrait of Charles III painted by British artist Jonathan Yeo. This work, which depicts the King of England wearing a Welsh Guards uniform, is his first official portrait since becoming King./EPA Yonhap News

On the 14th, the first official portrait of King Charles III of England was unveiled at Buckingham Palace. Charles III himself lifted the curtain while Queen Camilla, painters, and members of the royal family watched.

Painted on larger-than-life (7.5 feet by 5.5 feet) canvas, the portrait shows the king in his Welsh Guards uniform, smiling benignly with his hand on the hilt of his sword, and a ‘monarch butterfly’ over his right shoulder. But what catches the eye most of all is the intense red color that fills the canvas. The New York Times expressed, “(The king’s) entire body seemed to be submerged in a crimson sea, with only his face floating.”

Foreign media reported that the reactions of people who saw this portrait were sharply mixed. One critic praised it, saying it was “full of life,” while another criticized it, saying, “It gives the message that the monarchy is on fire or that the king is burning in hell.” It is said that many of the reactions from the general public were negative. They said there were reactions such as “It feels like I’m in hell” and “It feels like I’m bathing in blood.” Everyone seems to have been shocked by the unconventional color tone, which differs from the traditional royal portrait.

However, the artist who painted this portrait, Jonathan Yeoh, said in an interview that Charles III saw the painting once when it was half-finished, and at first looked surprised by the intense colors, but smiled and was satisfied.

Jonathan Yeo says he wanted to create a modern portrait of the royal family. The butterfly also symbolizes the changing status of the king, and she also symbolizes Charles’ transition from crown prince to king during the painting’s creation. He is a painter whose style is to capture the personality and essence of his subjects rather than to reproduce them as they are, and he says that in these paintings he wanted to minimize visual distractions and allow people to connect with the humans beneath them. Jonathan also painted portraits of Prince Philip, the father of Charles III, and Queen Camilla. When Queen Camilla saw this portrait, she is said to have told the artist, “She captured him well.”

This portrait will be on public display at the Philip Mold Gallery in London from the 16th to June 14th, and will then be moved to Dreypers Hall from the end of August.

King Charles III speaks with artist Jonathan Yeo at the unveiling of the portrait of King Charles III held at Buckingham Palace in London on May 14. / AP Yonhap News
Charles III unveils his portrait at Buckingham Palace in London on the 14th while Queen Camilla and others look on./AFP Yonhap News

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