Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pre-Raphaelite Child

Mabel Watson Payne stayed home with me this evening while her parents and her grandmother went out for dinner and then to see the latest (and purportedly the last) Harry Potter movie. The three of them had seen all the earlier ones together over the years. And I had seen none. Nobody therefore had to worry that I wouldn't rather split a burrito with my granddaughter and read her stories and generally smooth her path toward bedtime. It is, in fact, a truth universally acknowledged that I personally would much rather share a series of routine activities with Mabel Watson Payne than drive to the Palace in a coach-and-six and be knighted by the Queen.

The amazing Thomas Struth of the amazing Düsseldorf school of photography made this new official portrait (the first in ten years, in ever-vernal shades of green) to mark Queen Elizabeth's 60th anniversary on the throne and Prince Philip's 90th birthday. I didn't think of Struth in association with portraits, since he is mainly famous for panoramic views of interior spaces like museums and churches, but now am discovering that earlier examples of his portraits do exist, such as the Consolandi family of Milan below (showing that even back in 1996 the artist liked putting people against green).