ANDRÉ DURAND Twenty-First Century Paintings
Dimensions: 203.2 x 203.2
Oil on linen
PRINCESS PAINTED AS SEMI-NAKED ROMAN GODDESS
She has played the blushing bride, the dutiful wife and the patron saint of a thousand good causes, Yesterday the cartoon life of Diana, Princess of Wales took a classical turn when a new portrait cast her in an altogether new role: the Roman Goddess.
Unveiled yesterday at the Belvedere Hotel in London, André Durand’s life size oil painting has Diana scantily clothed as the Goddess of Fortune. She is shown flimsily draped in chiffon with her bosom partially exposed. The artist insisted yesterday that his subject would enjoy the painting. “Every woman who has seen it says they would love to look like that. She is one fit princess.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly the painting was inspired by the publicist Max Clifford, who told Durand he should portray Diana dancing. “This gave me the idea of basing the painting on a relief I saw in east Berlin of a Spartan woman dancing,” he explained. Mr Durand, a Canadian who lives near the princess’s Kensington Palace residence in London, is perhaps the only man alive to portray the royal family in situations even more bizarre than their troubled reality. The painting, entitled FORTUNA, is the fifth in Durand’s Windsor series.
The first, MYSTIC MARRIAGE, was painted in 1982 to mark the couple’s wedding. More spectacular was THREE PRINCES, which portrayed prince Charles aloft a majestic charger with his sons William and Harry dressed in jeans and baseball caps.
THE GUARDIAN Wednesday October 2 1996