The portrait of the gorgeous duchess was viewed or reviewed more like "The Portrait of Dorian Gray".
Some London art critics lambasted the portrait of Kate Middleton as "vampiric" or even "catastrophic".
"The Independent" art critic Michael Glover condemns the portrait as "catastrophic", making "her cheeks look hamsterish, and her face saggy and a touch dropsical."
Dropsy? This duchess? Before, or even during, her pregnancy?
"The Guardian" art critic Charlotte Higgins complains that this "pretty young woman" was "transformed into something unpleasant from the Twilight franchise." Higgins bemoans "dead eyes: a vampiric, malevolent glare beneath heavy lids" and "presumably, sucking in her fangs."
Seems someone's not sucking in her own fangs.
However, a news story in "The Guardian" quotes the duchess herself as proclaiming, "It's just amazing. I thought it was brilliant." She and her husband Prince William viewed the portrait before the gallery opened on Jan. 11.
Its painter, Paul Emsley, said, "The Duchess had explained that she would like to be portrayed naturally, her natural self, as opposed to her official self. She struck me as enormously open and generous and a very warm person. After initially feeling it was going to be an unsmiling portrait I think it was the right choice in the end to have her smiling -- that is really who she is."
The Duchess participated in an initial meeting to talk through the process of the painting, and posed for two sittings, in May and June 2012. Then, Emsley used photos taken during the sittings, and painted the portrait in three and a half months.
To hear Emsley discuss it in a National Portrait Gallery video, click here.
National Portrait Gallery director Sandy Nairne termed the painting "such a captivating contemporary image."
Beauty, like dropsy or royalty, is in the eye of the beholder.