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Study for commissioned portrait of HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark (profile head study)
, 2005

by Jiawei Shen

oil on canvas (support: 40.5 cm x 40.5 cm, frame: 44.7 cm x 44.6 cm depth 4.5 cm)

Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark (b. 1972) married Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark in Copenhagen Cathedral on 14 May 2004. Born Mary Donaldson in Hobart, she gained a bachelor’s degree in commerce and law from the University of Tasmania in 1994. Completing further qualifications in advertising, she worked as an account manager in Melbourne, Edinburgh and Sydney before travelling overseas. Returning to Sydney in 1999, she worked in advertising and real estate. She met Prince Frederik, like her, an adroit sportsperson, when he visited Sydney for the 2000 Olympic Games. Moving to Denmark in 2002, she studied Danish history and language, and worked as a project consultant, before her marriage. The mother of four is shown wearing the insignia of the Knight of the Order of the Elephant (RE).

Jiawei Shen often juxtaposes contradictory elements in his paintings to indicate his sitter’s history or situation. In this ‘court portrait’ he has placed the Princess alongside a column based on the architecture of Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen; in the background lies the Sydney Opera House, designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds provided by Mary Isabel Murphy 2005
Accession number: 2005.97.2