Kate Middleton's portrait painter is speaking out in defense of his highly criticized, much maligned and often memed illustration of the Duchess of Cambridge.
After receiving less-than-glowing reviews (to put it mildly), Paul Emsley revealed to Hello! that he and his family were upset by some of the negative feedback.
Considering the Kate Middleton portrait was the biggest commission of his career, "I'd be inhuman if I said it didn't affect me," the award-winning artist said.
"When you take on commissions like this, it is hazardous and you absolutely expect a bit of flak, but I expected nothing like the criticism I have received."
"I didn't expect it to go to the levels it did."
While Kate told reporters she thought the painting was just "brilliant," more than a few media outlets and fans of the royals were far less glowing.
The near universal reaction was that it made the gorgeous Duchess look older and duller than her 31 years; even more unflattering, hilarious memes followed.
After spending four months on it, Emsley likened the disparagement his work received to a "witch hunt" and "circus" that took an emotional toll on his family.
"At first the attacks were so personal and vicious that there was a point where I doubted that the portrait of the duchess was any good," he confesses.
However, "now I've had time to reflect on it, I am still happy with it and am getting on with my life. There is nothing I would have changed," he said.
The 65-year-old painter suggested that perhaps the portrait doesn't photograph well ... which would be ironic in that there are like no bad Kate Middleton pics.
What do you think of the Kate Middleton portrait?