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Portrait of HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark

2005
Jiawei Shen

oil on canvas (frame: 232.8 cm x 155.9 cm, support: 214.0 cm x 138.0 cm)

Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark (b. 1972) was born Mary Donaldson in Hobart, and gained a degree in commerce and law from the University of Tasmania in 1994. She worked in advertising and real estate before meeting her future husband, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, in Sydney during the 2000 Olympic Games. She moved to Denmark in 2002 and married Prince Frederik in Copenhagen Cathedral in May 2004. Her first royal tour of her homeland took place in late February and early March 2005.

Commissioned to create this portrait, Jiawei Shen managed to secure a window of time in the Princess' schedule for a sitting, which took place at the Hotel Intercontinental in Sydney. 'From the window straight away we can see the Opera House,' Shen said. Being the work of Danish architect Jørn Utzon, Shen decided to incorporate the Opera House into the composition to symbolise his subject's dual Australian and Danish identity. The column to her left is based on the architecture of Copenhagen's Amalienborg Palace, and attached to the blue sash is the insignia of the Knight of the Order of the Elephant (RE). Given the limited time available for the sitting, Shen took many photographs of the Princess and made several studies and sketches, which were acquired along with the finished painting in 2005.

Commissioned with funds provided by Mary Isabel Murphy 2005
© Commonwealth of Australia

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.
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Audio description

2 minutes 43 seconds
Show transcript

Artist and subject

Jiawei Shen (age 57 in 2005)

HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark (age 33 in 2005)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Supported by

Mary I. Murphy (4 portraits supported)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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