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Youngest artist to paint the Queen unveils his portrait at the Millennium Stadium

02 MAY 2013

A new portrait of the Queen has been unveiled at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and the man who immortalised the monarch is the youngest person to have been given the honour.

At just 32, Welsh artist Dan Llywelyn Hall was asked by the Welsh Rugby Union to depict their royal patron, a job he described as the "ultimate commission".

 

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Dan, whose piece marks the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation, said his expressionist-style portrait was intended to "get beyond the [Queen's] public image".

"I was very eager to talk to her and find out who she really is", Dan told The Telegraph. "The Queen is very self-conscious and aware of the camera in all the public images of her, and I didn't want to be overwhelmed by who she was, but instead make it feel as natural as possible."

The Welshman adds, "She was very open. I was expecting this very professional person, but she was very personable and affable.

"The Queen's a great philosopher and really thinks hard about things. I wanted to elevate her as a subject, but at the same time penetrate through this very strong-willed individual who is dealing with a very lonely job."

 

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Dan said painting a royal can "make or break an artist's career, something Paul Emsley, who recently depicted Kate Middleton, knows only too well.

Although the Duchess of Cambridge described his efforts as "brilliant, amazing, and absolutely brilliant", public opinion was more critical.

Early reaction to Dan's painting of the Queen, called 'Icon', suggests there could be a similar division of opinions. Mayfair gallery owner Francis Kyle shared his thoughts with The Metro.

"It has a positive quality, a certain thoughtfulness, alertness," he said. "What is strange is that the Queen is very small and petite and fine featured. You wouldn't think that to look at this."

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