It might look like Tom Hanks.
It might look like Martin Sheen.
It might even, perhaps, look a bit like the late Michael Winner.
But the one thing the Internet is agreed on is this—it doesn’t look anything like The Queen.
Which is a shame, as the Monarch is the person whom this gigantic porcelain bust is supposed to represent.
The sculpture was made by Chinese artist Chen Dapeng as a gesture of Sino-British friendship and is being shown at Kensington Olympia in London.
It portrays the head of Queen Elizabeth “bursting out as a flower from a bud” and is the largest piece of Chinese white porcelain ever made. It weighs 50 pounds and reportedly took three months and 13 attempts to cast.
If the likeness is not quite perfect, it should be remembered that Mr Chen was not granted an audience with the Queen to create his masterwork.
He used a picture of Her Majesty on a biscuit tin instead.
Mark Hudson, one of the Daily Telegraph’s art critics, told the paper: “I’m afraid it doesn’t really look like the Queen, that’s the first thing that strikes you. It’s rather out of proportion, the back of the head is too large and he has given her a bit of a boxer’s chin. It’s ended up looking a bit like Tom Hanks.”
When asked about the comments, a spokesperson for Mr Chen was forced to repudiate the allegation, telling The Independent: “Does Tom Hanks wear a gold crown? Come on!”
Of course, when you are having to deny your artist’s rendering of Her Maj looks like Tom Hanks, it could be said the battle is lost.
The incident is unlikely to strain diplomatic relations.
After all, it’s not constitutional to mind.
And anyway, The Queen is well used to being badly represented by artists, and at least Mr Chen’s head is not quite as bad as being painted for an official portrait by Rolf Harris—who is now doing a 5½-year stretch at HMP Stafford for child abuse.
It’s also arguably more flattering than Lucian Freud’s pitiless take.