Παρασκευή, 11 Ιανουαρίου 2013
marilena: Kate portrait: First official painting revealed: The first official painting of the Duchess of Cambridge has been unveiled. It was painted by the artist Paul Emsley and took several ...
The first official painting of the Duchess of Cambridge has been unveiled.
It was painted by the artist Paul Emsley and took several months using a technique of building thin layers of oil and glazes on canvas.
The duchess sat for the artist twice. Mr Emsley also worked from a series of photographs he took of Catherine.
The portrait is going on show at London's National Portrait Gallery, which commissioned the work. The duchess is the gallery's patron.
Mr Emsley was chosen to paint the portrait by the gallery's director, Sandy Nairne. Catherine, who studied history of art at St Andrews University, was also involved in the selection process.
The duchess, 31, whose pregnancy was announced by the Royal Family last month, sat for the artist in May 2012 at his studio, and again in June at Kensington Palace.'Light and shadow'
Mr Emsley said she had expressed a desire to be portrayed as her natural self, rather than her official self.
The artist described his work as simple.
"I don't have lots of things in the background. I do like large faces, I find them strong and contemporary," he said.
"I'm interested in the landscape of the face, the way in which light and shadow fall across the forms. That's really my subject matter.
"To have anything else in there is really just an interference."
The artist's other subjects have included the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, and the author V S Naipaul. In 2007 he won the BP Portrait Award for his depiction of fellow artist, Michael Simpson.
Mr Emsley said it was easier to work from photographs.
"I'm always worried about the sitter - are they cold, are they hot, are they comfortable?" he said.
"Photography today is so accurate and so good that it's really so much easier just to take photographs and work from them."
Originally Mr Emsley had planned to produce an unsmiling portrait. But on meeting the duchess he changed his mind.
"It was the right choice in the end to have her smiling. That's really who she is," he said.
He also knew he wanted to make a feature of Catherine's hair.
"Everyone, I think, recognises her partly through her lovely hair," he said.
"I've altered the colour of the eyes slightly to match the colour of the blouse and the blue background."
The painting took three-and-a-half months to complete and was presented to the portrait gallery's trustees in November.
The portrait was given to the gallery by Sir Hugh Leggatt in memory of Sir Denis Mahon, with support from the Art Fund.
Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar said: "The unveiling of a first official portrait of a royal sitter is always an important and intriguing moment, defining and enshrining their public image in a new way."
Mr Nairne said it was an "exciting moment" to display the first commissioned public portrait of the duchess.
He added that she was grateful to the duchess for giving up her time for the sittings and to Mr Emsley for creating a "captivating contemporary image".
The portrait, called HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, will be displayed as part of the National Portrait Gallery's Contemporary Collections.
marilena: INTRODUCING THE 'POLYPILL' - SHOULD EVERYONE OVER ...: Set to be available in the US this year, this mixture of medicines in one pill is aimed at reducing heart attacks. Its inventor says even m...
Set to be available in the US this year, this mixture of medicines in one pill is aimed at reducing heart attacks. Its inventor says even middle age people with no symptons should take it.
GENEVA - It is being billed as a revolutionary pill, and will soon be available in pharmacies in the United States. Its backers recommend it to every single person over the age of 50.
Releasing a pill as a way to help prevent heart disease to anyone of middle age and older -- whether or note they have symptoms -- is the idea of Professor Nicholas Wald of the London-based Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine.
His “Polypill” might very well land on the US market early in 2013, according to an article last fall by Dr. Gérard Waeber, a prominent Swiss physician.
The Polypill, as its name implies, is a mix of different substances. Some of the medicines are new, others have long been available. Though the formula isn’t final yet, it is expected to contain beta-blockers to slow the heart rate, an antiplatelet agent to increase blood flow and an anti-cholesterol agent. Think of the Polypill as some sort of pharmaceutical “three-in-one” shampoo.
Aging, as Professor Wald notes, is the main factor responsible for heart disease. The goal of Wald and his team of researchers is to bring the first Polypill to market that is recommended to absolutely everyone over 55. The pill is touted as having been able to prevent heart attacks in 28% of the population for a decade.
Even if half of the people over 50 took the Polypill, 94,000 heart attacks and strokes would be avoided each year in Great Britain, Wald claimed in 2011 in a press release of London’s Queen Mary University. He also published a research paper In the magazine PlosOne testifying that the Polypill has "enormous potential in terms of prevention.” He suggested that this medicinal cocktail would diminish arterial pressure by 12% and the “bad” cholesterol by 39%, leading to a predictable reduction of the number of heart attacks by 60%.
To grasp the full potential of this Polypill, you need to know that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of deathin countries with a high GDP. Arterial hypertension – one of the first controllable factors of risk -- touches 35% of the population over 50, and this number reaches 45% past 60.
According to cardiology professor Salim Uusuf from McMaster university in Hamilton Canada, the Polypill must be considered “not as a pill but a different approach to prevention.” It is also relatively inexensive: 57 euros per person a year. Composed of generic pill materials, it can be sold in pharmacies.
However, ever since the first tests began in 2000, people have criticized the approach of suggesting medical substances to healthy people. “The inventors of this pharmaceutical concept want a generalization of the Polypill prescriptions that would render the tracing process and medical monitoring obsolete,” says the Swiss physician Waeber.
The economic advantages would include fewer doctor appointments and lower costs for future medical expenses. “From a medical point of view, we have no idea if it’s a good measure or not," adds Waeber. "Before the symptoms kick in, there is a simple way to alter the risks, and that is a better everyday health. After that, customized treatment turns out to be the most satisfying solution.”
The Polypill clearly has not convinced the entire medical community. Some doctors reckon that it would be interesting to distribute several formulas, for different groups of patients, depending on the level of risk they face.
Waeber ultimately sees the risk of a supposed "wonder pill" that could make people less attentive than they would otherwise be about both nutrition and exercise.
marilena: Greek goddess Europa to feature on five-euro notes...: The ancient Greek goddess Europa who was abducted and raped by the god Zeus is to be featured on new five-euro notes which will be unveil...
The ancient Greek goddess Europa who was abducted and raped by the god Zeus is to be featured on new five-euro notes which will be unveiled by the European Central Bank in the Spring.
The series of euro notes will be the second since the single currency's launch in 1999 amid a lingering debt crisis and controversy over draconian European Union austerity measures that have been imposed on Greece.
The "Europa" series, portraying the goddess on new security holograms and watermarks, will be phased in across the eurozone's 17 member countries over several years, starting with a new five-euro note in May.
The image of Europa to be used on euro notes is taken from 2000-year old vase in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The new notes will circulate in parallel with old ones as legal tender and the ECB has not yet set a termination date for the first series.
The ancient Greek goddess will become the face of the euro at a time when soaring unemployment has reached a record high and uncertainty over the single currency's future continues.
Last year, Greece came close to exiting the euro and triggering an economic crash that threatened to engulf the whole of Europe in the worst crisis for over 80 years.