Kate Middleton recently stepped out with her husband Prince William to view her first official portrait by award-winning artist Paul Emsley. While she is said to be impressed with the artwork, it has prompted mixed reactions amongst the public.
The Duchess of Cambridge, who is expecting her first child, appeared to be healthy and in good spirits as she arrived for the private viewing on Friday morning. The portrait was reportedly commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery and painted by Emsley, who was personally chosen by Middleton, according to Yahoo! News.
"It's just amazing, I thought it was brilliant!" Middleton reportedly said upon viewing the portrait.
Middleton, 31, reportedly posed for the painting twice, once in May and a second time in June, and upon her request, the portrait depicts her natural appearance as opposed to an official persona. The portrait is a head and shoulders shot of the Duchess dressed in an emerald-green pussy-bow necked dress and The Duke of Cambridge was equally pleased.
"It's beautiful, it's absolutely beautiful," Prince William said while viewing the painting with his wife.
Emsley is a highly respected British artist who is renowned for his hyper-realistic portrayal of his subjects. The 65-year-old also used photographs that he had personally taken of Middleton to create his masterpiece and said that they were easier to work with as opposed to his live subject.
"I'm always worried about the sitter – are they cold, are they hot, are they comfortable? Photography today is so accurate and so good that it's really so much easier just to take photographs and work from them," Emsley told The Sun U.K.
Critics took to social networking site Twitter where they weighed in on the painting and while some were impressed, others were not.
"Kate Middleton looks stunning in her first portrait! Her hair looks so silky and the eyes are on point," Magda Lewis tweeted.
"Kate Middleton's portrait = natural beauty! The complexion is accurate and her hair and face are gorgeous," Gail P tweeted.
"Whoever painted the first portrait of Princess Kate should have their head lopped off. That thing is awful!!" Steph tweeted.
"Poor Kate Middleton. I hope she doesn't believe she looks like that fat old lady in the portrait," Bag Lady tweeted.
"It would be interesting to see the Kate Middleton portrait in the gallery....from the photos of it, it really has not captured her sparkle," Sam Raincock tweeted.