Something is rotten in the state of Denmark—most probably the greenish corpses hanging from all the lampposts, leaking purge fluids onto the smart little cobblestones as chaos and terror rule the nation following the revelation that the Danish royal family is composed of demons.
The news was broken over the weekend, when the newest portrait of the royal family was unveiled to the public, to a chorus of screams. The painting depicts three generations of royals, all eerily aglow as if they have just feasted on a village of Thomas Kinkade's flaming houses, dressed in sundry articles of clothing proportionate to their size. Its members engage in their various favorite pastimes: holding onto a baby's leg; constructing a tower to heaven as an affront to God; using black magic to animate a toy horse, causing it to prance and lurch with queer, jerky motions. In the foreground, an 8-year-old bores into the souls of those Beyond The Fourth Wall. Behind the group: the ruins of the city they have destroyed.
Here is the official description of the painting, which features a rare application of the adjective "severe" to describe a child.
In Kluge's painting the royal couple is depicted in a gilt rococo settee surrounded by their sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren, all in everyday clothing. The present and future monarchs, H.M. The Queen, T.R.H. The Crown Prince and Prince Christian, all make eye contact with us, while their family members are portrayed in their own universe, unprovoked by the gaze of the spectator. The children are at play with the exception of the upright and severe Prince Christian who seems aware of his future responsibilities.
Since it was unveiled over the weekend, the portrait has drawn comparisons to the widely derided first official portrait of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and also no animals have crossed in front of it. The painting is the result of four years' work by artist Thomas Kluge. When it first put on display, blood splashed down like rain in Copenhagen for 13 straight hours, staining all the daisies. The official website of the Danish Royal Collections characterizes Kluge's art as "a kind of magic realism."
Visitors can view the painting until March 2014 in the Gala Hall of the royal residence Amalienborg Palace, where it will hang as part of an exhibition of royal portraits and a warning of horrors to come.
All the flames in Denmark have been burning black and cool to the touch since the exact moment the painting was first unveiled, though it's not clear if the incidents are related.
[Image via Amalienborg Museum]