Portrait of Emperor, Empress unveiled
NHK -- May 22
Japan's Imperial Household Agency unveiled a portrait of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Monday. This is the first time the couple's portrait was created with their approval.

The oil painting was produced by Hiroshi Noda, a leading artist of realism. It was completed in January and delivered to the Imperial Palace in March.

In the artwork painted on a canvas 2 meters in both length and width, the Emperor stands on the left and the Empress half a step behind him on the right.

Eighty-one-year-old Noda has been close to the couple since they were crown prince and princess.

The agency says the idea of the Imperial portrait was raised 8 years ago. Noda produced the painting based on a photo taken 4 years ago.

He realistically depicted the texture of the couple's skin, clothes and the wall in the background.

The agency says the Emperor and Empress are delighted with the painting.

Noda says he is honored to have been allowed to produce the portrait. He also says he struggled to depict the couple on the canvas, but he did his best.

宮内庁は、天皇皇后両陛下の肖像画が完成したと発表しました。 この肖像画は、縦横2メートルの正方形のキャンバスに日本の写実絵画の第一人者である野田弘志さんが油絵で描いた作品です。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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