JFK's Grandson Jack Schlossberg Is a Fan of King Charles's Controversial Portrait

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

"Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links."

Jack Schlossberg, the only grandson of JFK and Jackie Kennedy, has long had an interesting and varied social media presence. But in recent weeks, he's focused his attention on speaking out against his cousin Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s presidential campaign through a series of skits—that is, until he saw King Charles's new portrait.

On Wednesday, Schlossberg took a break from the heavily accented characters—which range from a stereotypical Bostonian named Jimmy to a Southerner named Wade—to comment on the controversial painting by Jonathan Yeo.

The work, which is vividly red, has received mixed reviews online, with many suggesting that the intense color evokes blood, or perhaps the flames of hell. The New York Times described the choice of shade as seeming "particularly fraught" and in a BBC interview, Yeo noted that the King was "initially mildly surprised by the strong color" when he saw an unfinished version of the work, "but otherwise he seemed to be smiling approvingly."

first official portrait of king charles iii since coronation unveiled
King Charles III unveils his portrait by artist Jonathan Yeo in the blue drawing room at Buckingham Palace.WPA Pool - Getty Images

Schlossberg, too, is a fan of the portrait. "I love it," he posted on Instagram stories, captioning a photo of the painting. "For me, this is peak portraiture." Drawing attention to the butterfly in the image, the Kennedy scion wrote a series of phrases: "A touch of magic;" "The ephemerality of life;" "A reverence for the natural world;" and "irony loves fate."

Indeed, in a conversation with the BBC, Yeo noted, "In the history of art, the butterfly symbolises metamorphosis and rebirth," making it an apt symbol, given Charles's recent formal accession to the throne. It also represents the king's life-long focus on environmentalism.

Schlossberg shared two additional comments on the portrait, writing "lest we forget" across the sword and then on the following slide, "The line between man, country and family: clear, blended, splendid."

Of course, Schlossberg's grandfather is the subject of one of the most striking and symbolic presidential portraits in U.S. history. Painted several years after Kennedy's tragic death, Aaron Shikler's 1970 depiction of President Kennedy shows him standing, with arms crossed and eyes downcast, his face obscured.

aaron shikler's posthumous portrait of president kennedy
Aaron Shikler’s posthumous portrait of President Kennedy.Pictures from History - Getty Images

It was JFK's widow, Jackie, who influenced the pose. "The only stipulation she made," Shikler told People in 1981, "was, ‘I don’t want him to look the way everybody else makes him look, with the bags under his eyes and that penetrating gaze. I’m tired of that image.'" So the artist painted Kennedy with his head bowed "not because I think of him as a martyr, but because I wanted to show him as a president who was a thinker," he told The Washington Post in 1971. "A thinking president is a rare thing."

You Might Also Like