Nov. 21, 2013 at 11:32 AM ET
An official portrait of the Danish royal family that took artist Thomas Kluge four years to create has drawn criticism for being dark, "creepy" and resembling the poster of a horror movie.
The Amalienborg Museum, which will exhibit the painting along with other royal portraits by Kluge, describes the work as “both a story of a modern family and a piece of royal history.”
In the painting, which was revealed to the public on Wednesday, the royal couple is depicted in a gilt rococo settee surrounded by their sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren. Kluge’s style is described as “a kind of magic realism’’ by the museum.
“The present and future monarchs, H.M. The Queen, T.R.H. The Crown Prince and Prince Christian, all make eye contact with us, while their family members are portrayed in their own universe, unprovoked by the gaze of the spectator,’’ the painting’s description reads. “The children are at play with the exception of the upright and severe Prince Christian who seems aware of his future responsibilities.’
Prince Christian, 7, is second in the Danish line of succession. His “severe’’ look includes a macabre glow around his face and bags under his eyes. His depiction and the overall painting have left many online unsettled.
Kluge is the latest artist to have his portrayal of royals come under fire. In May, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was dubbed "hideous" by one writer and "like a bloke wearing a wig" by another. In January, a portrait of Duchess Kate drew criticism for making her look older and more worn out than her 31 years.