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A crimson painting with the King's face and hands suspended in mid-air. A butterfly fluttering over his right shoulder.

The first official portrait of England's King Charles after his accession to the throne has been unveiled to the public. The portrait by artist Jonathan Yeo surprised those who saw it. The portrait, which does not look like the usual royal paintings, is both admired and criticized.

The comments on the official Instagram account of the royal family are harsher. "He gave me the message that the royalty will go up in flames or the king will burn in hell," writes one. Another commented that "it looks like he is taking a blood bath". Others said it reminded them of "colonial massacres" or compared it to the devil.

Jonathan Yeo is an artist who has painted the King or the royal family before. The painting was commissioned in 2020 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the membership of Charles, then still Prince Charles, to the Chamber of Commerce, which brings together wool merchants.

Charles first posed for Yeo in June 2021, more than a year before he became king. Yeo said that King Charles, who posed for the last time in 2023, was surprised by the dominance of the color red when he first saw the painting. He said his aim was to paint a more modern royal portrait, reflecting Charles' desire to be a more modern king. He said that the butterfly on his shoulder symbolized his transformation from prince to king and Charles' love for the east.