Scottish artist Peter Howson is an acclaimed painter who is much loved in the music world. David Bowie and Mick Jagger are among the stars who own some of Howson’s paintings. He is also well known for his unflattering portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which allegedly met with her disapproval after it was used on a postage stamp in 1998.
Howson’s nude portrait of Madonna and Guy Ritchie is about to go up for auction this weekend (May 30), and is expected to fetch a five-figure sum. It’s difficult not to stifle a laugh when viewing the painting. Ritchie runs his hand up Madonna’s thigh, and looks like a creep. Madonna looks distressed, like she can’t wait to get away from her (now) ex-husband. She also has the burly physique of a rugby player.
"There is no doubt that the recent split of Madonna and Guy has generated increased interest in the painting,” said Brian Clements, who is auctioning the picture. “The painting created a huge amount of controversy when it was unveiled a few years ago and I think it's safe to say it is one of a kind.” Not quite, Brian. Just check out this other painting in the series, which depicts a giant nude wrinkly Madonna squatting over a grave yard.