Thursday, May 03, 2007
I've been anticipating this Annie Leibovitz portrait of the Queen ever since I'd heard it was being taken. Not being legitimate media I was unable to receive it yesterday when it was first released, so I had to wait an extra day and snag it off Towleroad.
The usual chorus of haters lined up to denounce the picture: "It looks like something you might see in a catalogue offering the Queen herself for sale," said Henry Allen of The Washington Post, just before I soundly thrashed him with my left shoe. It was, after all, taken for Vanity Fair.
Naturally, all portraits of the Queen inspire a furious debate. The traditional ones have people looking for something more avant-garde, and the "edgy" ones (not that such a thing is possible) are usually thought to be disrespectful.
I think the picture is lovely, poignant, wistful, and painterly. Leibovitz's work has always been artful but has been known to border on the sensational, which is not something that would suit the Queen in the least. It features Her Majesty in her natural setting, and I especially love the glimpse of turbulent sky out the window. Very Old Master, that.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive in America today for a six-day official tour to Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.
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