A PORTRAIT of the Spanish royal family that has been 20 years in the making is finally just days from completion.

Although it already appears finished to the amateur eye, artist Antonio Lopez insists he needs another 20 days before the painting is completely finished.

Even now, Lopez is only happy with the painting ‘at times’, saying he was greatly hindered by having to paint from a photograph, rather than from life.

Originally commissioned in 1994, Lopez has said that the two decade delay is because painting the royal family is ‘like writing War and Peace’.

The portrait is based on a photo from 1992, and features the then-King Juan Carlos I, his wife Sofia and their three children Elena, Cristina and the new King Felipe VI.

On completion, it is to be featured in an upcoming exhibition at the Royal Palace, called ‘Portraiture in the royal collections’.

Impressions of Spanish royals dating back to Queen Isabella also feature in the exhibition, by masters such as Francisco de Goya, Juan de Flandes and Diego Velazquez.

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