Women

04.10.13

Portrait of a Dame

Dame Maggie Smith Comes to London's National Portrait Gallery

All hail the Dame: A new portrait, unveiled today at the National Portrait Gallery in London, depicts Dame Maggie Smith in all her natural glory, seated against a neutral backdrop in a regal gold caftan. The artist of the piece, James Lloyd, told Britain's Telegraph that he was "aiming for 'understated glamour' rather than anything too 'flashy.' " (He added that Smith's first words to him were, "Poor you.")

The Oscar-winning actress, who stars as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham on the hit BBC series Downton Abbey and who has played everyone from Miss Jean Brodie to Harry Potter's Professor Minerva McGonagall, comes across as dainty and down-to-earth in the portrait. She pensively holds up her head, as if to ask the viewer, “And what have you done lately?”