Oh my gosh! Merlin's snazzy suit! The original painting was a wonderful choice for a portrait of Merlin and Arthur - they both look so dapper, and the gaze they share is so intense! I adore pictures of Arthur and Merlin in different time periods. Also, you have captured Colin's and Bradley's profiles perfectly. The color scheme is more muted than some of your other paintings, and I think it works very well.
What really amuses me (although it is probably coincidental) is how much Merlin's suit and bowler hat remind me of the outfit that Hank Morgan wears at the beginning of Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, when he can't figure out why the peasants are all staring at him instead of at the armored and surcoated knight who has taken him prisoner (and just before he is brought before the royal court, where it is immediately decided that his strange clothing must be magical and should be removed from him without further ado...). Yeah.
I'll admit I am a total sucker for anything that pairs BBC Merlin with Connecticut Yankee. I actually strongly suspect that the characterization of Arthur on Merlin was heavily influenced by Twain's portrayal of him: pompous, self-absorbed, not the sharpest tack, but intrinsically brave and noble when it comes down to it. (And perhaps some of Merlin's snark owes a bit to Hank Morgan as well.)
This is Hank on the subject of Arthur: "The king looked puzzled - he wasn't a very heavy weight, intellectually. His head was an hourglass; it could stow an idea, but it had to do it a grain at a time, not the whole idea at once."
And, even better, (when Hank and Arthur are touring the kingdom, disguised as peasants): "If you have ever seen an active, heedless, enterprising child going diligently out of one mischief and into another all day long, and an anxious mother at its heels all the while, just saving it by a hair from drowning itself or breaking its neck with each new experiment, you've seen the king and me."
I shall have to read that again, I've got a book of all Mark Twain's stuff upstairs. Your quotes from it are so good, Twain was so brilliant at turning a phrase.
What you say about the similarities do ring true, certainly with very early BBC Arthur. But I do like my Arthur a bit more brainy AND noble, a bit more of the Mallory Arthur. I think BBC Arthur matured a lot and grew a lot as the series went on, which I really liked.
Twain's Arthur does have his moments of sublime greatness and nobility as well. The scene in the smallpox hut, in particular, made me fall a bit in love with Arthur Pendragon before ever I saw him played by Bradley James...