The guy whose painted the puppet of the Queen?
It’s not a puppet – that’s Ma’am herself. The 33-year-old painter from Cardiff has received quite a bit of stick for his portrait of the Queen. One early viewer compared it to the Queen’s Spitting Image doll, while another said: “Never mind hanging the portrait, it is the artist who should be hung.”
Llewlyn Hall said he only set out to capture “the very human side of the Queen’s personality”.
What’s he been up to before this royal ruckus?
He’s painted Amy Winehouse, Andrew Motion, Deborah Levy and other cultural icons, family members and First World War veterans. He also does a decent turn at landscapes, largely from around his native Wales and the Southwest of England.
Bit of a tough gig, no? Being asked to paint a royal...
Indeed it is. Earlier this year Paul Emsley was roundly lampooned for his “ghastly” and “rotten” soft focus depiction of Kate Middleton. There have been 133 official portraits of HRH and not many have got away without grief – Lucien Freud being a recent example.
Llewlyn Hall is largely unfazed, though, saying that while it is the “ultimate” assignment of a portraitist’s career, he was aware it was something of a poisoned chalice. As for Her Maj herself: “She was very convivial which made it easy to get a sense and measure of her as a person. I’ve never met someone so good at putting others at ease – almost as if you’re on best mate terms.”