The Danish painting (100 things #18)

The big royal discussion of the past month ended up being the new painting of the Danish royal family done by painter Thomas Kluge. It can be viewed here.

It has been likened to the poster for a horror film, such as The Omen, and Huffington Post compared the image of Prince Christian to one of the twins from the Shining. Isabella’s placement playing by herself in the front has also not been commented on favourably, in some cases people say she looked like she was possessed. Ekstrabladet gathered some of the comments from Danish people and art critics, and one of them compared the royal family to looking like the Addams Family.

The painting was supposed to be the modern day replacement of the big family portrait from the 1880s by Tuxen. You can see the same image in the background on the older version as the newer version, which (I suppose) ties them together in a way. The problem with the comparison between the two images is that in the older version, though you have groups here and there, and they very well could have been sitting for the portrait in different times and been painted together, it still looks like they are in the same room at the same time and one somewhat cohesive family.

Technically, Kluge is a very good painter, but the use of lighting and placement of the people gives the image a dark and photoshopped feel that a family portrait, even a royal one, shouldn’t have had to have. He has been critiqued before, for the portrait he did of Queen Margrethe in 2000. In said portrait she ended up looking more distant and colder, than she is. (Incidentally, he also did one in 1996 of her, where she was bathed in light and looked rather warm and approachable.)

It should definitely have been possible to gather the family under one roof for the time it would take to pose them more naturally and have them in one place for the inspiration. When Kluge started the work with the painting in 2011, they were 11 people in the family. Then the twins and Athena came along, which must have upset the posing somewhat. But not to the degree it has ended up looking so photoshopped.

I feel that a lot could be rectified if they had just been in the same room together while posing.

Maybe then, Isabella wouldn’t be playing on her own on one of the sides and could have joined her cousins?


By Anne

Anne is a librarian by day. By night, she reads. She knits. She watches movies and television shows. She enjoys board games. And posting on royal related forums.

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