Dame Maggie Smith is certainly a larger than life character, as shown in her portrait revealed last week at London’s National Portrait Gallery. The painting, which stands six-foot-three, is by artist James Lloyd, winner of the esteemed BP Portrait Award. Vanity Fair Daily reports that Lloyd remarked:
“It’s not just her sitting there looking a bit bored—she has a very particular look… Although she was quite everyday in her dress, she’s grand as well. She’s a big figure, and she should have a certain grandeur.”
During the process of completing the portrait, there was one main challenge: adapting to Smith’s work schedule and having to deal with the occasional altered appearance. Lloyd notes, “At one point she came in with dyed blonde hair.”
Lloyd also explains that the verdict on Smith’s wardrobe and pose “came from her. . . . I was painting her, not her as a character. We all imagine her as a character in period pieces, especially now, but I just went with my vision. I asked her to turn up in everyday attire, and she told me she was very much open to being directed.”
Painting such an illustrious figure as Dame Maggie Smith would appear to be no easy feat, as her first words to the artists during their original meeting were reportedly “poor you.”
What do you think of Dame Maggie Smith’s portrait? Which Harry Potter stars’ portrait would you most like to see?