• Portrait of a Lady

    Before Lucien Freud died I always had a mad fantasy of being painted by him. I adore his work and even travelled to Venice some years ago just to see an exhibition of his paintings. I was expecting to join a queue that snaked its way round the entire perimeter of St Mark's Square, a bit like the queue to see the Tutankhamun exhibition in London many moons ago. So, imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only was there no queue but at times I was the only visitor in some of the rooms in the gallery. Just me and Freud. Heaven! His work is raw, often cruel in its honesty, particularly his treatment of nude subjects.

    The exhibition showed many of what have now become Freud's most famous works but, interestingly, among them was a full-length painting of Andrew Parker-Bowles, Camilla's ex-husband. I have never been attracted to the Brigadier and I wouldn't call Freud's portrait exactly flattering. (See below to form your own opinion!)

    It was two years ago that I came across another artist whose work immediately fascinated me: Jonathan Yeo. I decided that if ever I became rich I would ask him to paint me. (I love sitting for artists. It is like having the most wonderful massage, and I don't mean of my ego!) Sadly I never managed to get to London to see his exhibition in 2013 but I was hugely taken by the works that I came across in the media. Many of his subjects are celebrities that are depicted in a very honest way. He seems to be able to encapsulate the essence of the sitter so effectively. You don't feel that you need to know the subject in order to appreciate what the portrait is telling you, the viewer.

    I was therefore delighted to discover that Yeo had been commissioned to do a portrait of Camilla which is presently being shown at The Laing Art Gallery in my home town of Newcastle. I feel that Yeo has captured the spiritual side of Camilla. He is not trying to flatter but conveys her maturity, wisdom and warmth. I love her pensive look, the human touch of her holding on to her specs rather than an object that suggests her privileged position as the wife of our future King. Her dress is homely, as opposed to her wearing a formal outfit or evening dress. The palette is muted, there is no use of bright colour. There are no pearls, no earrings, no tiara. Just Camilla and her thoughts.

    Jealous? Moi? Well, just a bit. The nearest I got to Freud was knowing a taxi driver who'd delivered some paints to his studio.

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Welcome to the blog for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall Lookalike, Jane Mosse. I hope to give you an insight into what life is like when the world thinks you look like someone else!

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