Friday 28 March 2014

Dame Monica Mason

The National Portrait Gallery in London has unveiled its latest commissioned portrait of a famous person: Dame Monica Mason (2013) by Saied Dai. Her portrait is in Room 32. Former ballerina Dame Monica retired as Director of the Royal Ballet in 2012. She attended the Royal Ballet School from the age of 14 and at 16 became the youngest ever member of the Royal Ballet Company. So, a glittering career; but I don't see that reflected in Saied Dai's portrait. It is overly theatrical to the point of caricature. Her fingers clasping what looks like a death mask are twisted in an unrealistic way, and the three-quarter profile elongates her face and strikes me as far too coy for what should be a commanding figure. CLICK to view a comparison.


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