Are the portraits of Queen Anne flattering to make her look slimmer?
I saw on a programme about her that she was supposedly 'fat' and very overweight. But in the portraits of her she doesn't look that fat, just a few extra pounds. And more generally are those old portraits of British monarchs generally flattering to the person being painted?
- CloLv 72 months ago
Portrait painters often made their subjects appear much more attractive than they were, The artist sought an idealized and flattering image. This pleased the subject---something that the artist had to do in order to be able to earn a living.
- Verulam 1Lv 72 months ago
In general, when painting portraits of Monarchs, if the artist wanted to stay alive, his work was flattering!!
- John PLv 72 months ago
Most portraits of senior people are painted to flatter.
Famously, when Oliver Cromwell was being painted as the newly chosen 'Protector' of England, he told the artist to paint him 'warts and all'. That was the origin of that expression.
- Anonymous2 months ago
Any portrait painter worth his salt knew to flatter his subject. Queen Anne in later life was "exceeding gross and corpulent" (according to Sarah Churchill with whom she had fallen out, so possibly a bit biased) as a result of ill health, her gout making her more or less immobile. I guess it depends when the portrait was painted: she was pregnant 17 times in as many years. Her health declined in her 30s and by the time of her coronation she was unable to walk far and had to be carried everywhere in a sedan chair; she struggled with her weight ever after and doctors were all but useless at the time.