Friday 7 April 2006

First look at Crown Princess Mary's portrait

 border= Excerpt from the National History Museum's press release:

It was the expressed wish of the museum that the portrait was not to be a typical official portrait, but a more personal characterization of the new member of the Danish Royal Family.

Since his first sitting with the Crown Princess in May 2005, Heimans has been working intensively on the portrait and has repeatedly visited Denmark. The result is a resounding success: a work that fuses the Crown Princess’ present day situation with her Australian heritage.

The Princess is seen in the Garden Room of Fredensborg Palace, where Lauritz Tuxen more than 100 years ago painted King Christian IX Danish and his extensive Pan-European family. She is getting ready to leave the palace - her coat lies at the ready over a chair, and she is putting on her gloves. She gazes pensively at something we cannot see. The room around her is multifaceted and labyrinthine: It is reflected outwards and inwards in the great mirrors that Heimans has replaced the room’s actual landscape paintings with. In the mirror behind Mary, a glimpse of Hobart can be seen, and in another mirror, a reflection of the Danish flag can be detected in the ceiling. In this way, the painting represents the Crown Princess on the brink between the old life and the new, the known territory and the unknown. At first glance, it is difficult to find one’s bearing, but the Crown Princess seems calm and confident, ready for her challenge.

Facts about the portrait
HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, painted by Ralph Heimans 2006, oil on canvas, 175 x 250 cm.
From 8 April - 31 July the portrait is part of the special exhibition “Australian Visit”.
From the 1st of August the portrait will take its place in the Modern Collection.
For more information visit

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