While it isn’t a photographic representation of Mr. Armstrong, it is recognizably Garry. He has more hair (he said “thank you”) and his head isn’t as big as it really is (he said “thank you” again), but the facial configuration is pretty good. He has a fantastic nose — perfectly straight. I’ve never seen a better one.
Despite all his protestations of being too short, that nose is a winner. I think the right nose might get you farther in this world that mere height. I mean, isn’t that why we pay plastic surgeons so much money?
I always wondered if the portraits of monarchs sent to their potential mates actually resembled them. I think, after all this portraiture? No, they probably had pictures painted that they liked rather than ones that truly resembled them. Also, they had to live within the limits of the chosen artist’s capabilities which might or might not include portraits that looked like the subject.
Considering how vain were those monarchs, princes, queens, and princesses, I can’t imagine any of those folks paying for a painting that showed them warts and all. In fact, I’m betting if you dared paint realistically, you would not live long enough to argue about getting paid. So, you painted something his or her majesty would like — not what they looked like. As long as you got the coloring sort of close — and the clothing right — it was a winner.
Taken in that spirit, any of my portraits would probably do the job — assuming one of us were up for an arranged marriage and no one owned an iPhone. Do we really believe every member of every royal house was beautiful or handsome? I’m betting some of them went well beyond unattractive to outright ugly.
But hey, if you don’t have a camera? You can be beautiful, at least in your portrait. And back then, this could make the different between ruling a country or sitting alone on the throne.