Controversy Erupts Over New King Charles Portrait’s ‘Blood-Red’ Palette

The painting of King Charles by Jonathan Yeo has split public opinion.

King Charles Portrait

King Charles III by Jonathan Yeo . © His Majesty King Charles III by Jonathan Yeo 2024. Photo by Handout/His Majesty King Charles III by Jonathan Yeo 2024 via .

Buckingham Palace has revealed the latest official portrait of King Charles, which is the first one painted since his coronation in May.

Jonathan Yeo, the artist, painted a big canvas with a dominant red scheme. He was standing next to the king when the artwork was shown to the public. Yeo is famous for painting many well-known people like David Attenborough, Malala Yousafzai, and Nicole Kidman. He has also painted Queen Camilla and the king's deceased father, Prince Philip.

King Charles Portrait

Artist Jonathan Yeo and King Charles III stand in front of the portrait of the King Charles III as it is unveiled in the blue drawing room at Buckingham Palace. Photo: Aaron Chown-WPA Pool/Getty Images.

The Worshipful of Drapers, a medieval guild of wool and cloth that now focuses on philanthropy, commissioned a painting measuring almost nine by seven feet. It will be displayed in Drapers' Hall, which has a gallery dedicated to British monarchs.

The reveal happened shortly after the king returned to his public duties, after being diagnosed with cancer.

The king posed for Yeo on four occasions, each lasting around an hour. This started back in 2021 when he was still the Prince of Wales.

The portrait shows him wearing a red military uniform as a Regimental Colonel in the Welsh Guards. The artist may have been influenced by these clothes to use a vibrant color palette, which has caused some disagreement.

Yeo mentioned to the BBC that if considered treasonous, he could potentially face execution by having his head removed, which would be a fitting end for a portrait painter.

The king suggested adding a butterfly to his left shoulder as a symbol of change and new beginnings.

King Charles Portrait

Queen Camilla watches as King Charles III unveils an official portrait of himself, by artist Jonathan Yeo. Photo: Aaron Chown-WPA Pool/Getty Images.

The king and Queen Camilla liked the portrait, but the public had mixed opinions.

Some people praised the Royal 's post as “spectacular” and “stunning,” while others criticized it for showing the king in a negative light and referencing British imperialism.

The Cut also mentioned the blood-red colors, describing Charles's face as a ghostly figure of death amidst bold brushstrokes.

Art critic Richard Morris praised the portrait, highlighting the importance of having a skilled painter capture one's true appearance before the invention of photography.

The satirical news program Have I Got News For You also made a joke about X, saying that the painting might have been a target of a Just Stop Oil protest, and humorously suggested that it had been coated with tomato soup.

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