What with all the chatter on Kate’s first official portrait, we thought it would be fun to look at the official portraits done of Australian-born Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. She is a favourite around here, after all.
Oh, and if you’re a fan and haven’t seen the documentary “Mary Elizabeth Donaldson” which was done back in 2004, do you ever have a treat in store for you: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCPzbGGWLC0]
To the portraits!
1. Jiawei Shen, 2005
The first official portrait of Crown Princess Mary was completed in 2005, the year after her and Frederik’s wedding. It was commissioned by Australia’s National Portrait Gallery and this is the result:
As you can see, Mary is all decked out in the Order of the Elephant and looks quite regal. Tons of information is available at the official website of the National Portrait Gallery. Click here for that!
Since the portrait’s unveiling it has been on display at the National Portrait Gallery, though it travelled to the Danish Museum of National History in Frederiksborg in Denmark in April 2006.
Here it is on display at the palace along with Mary’s dress:
The next official portrait of Mary was completed in 2006. Australian-born, Paris-based artist Ralph Heimans was given the commission. This portrait is the Danish counterpart to the first portrait we discussed. Heimans’ painting has quite a different feel; it depicts the princess amongst the Rococo glory of the 17th century Frederiksborg Castle, north of Copenhagen.
In the background, the artist has painted the harbour of Hobart, where Princess Mary grew up in Australiaand Mary is looking quite serious as she gazes out towards the windows:
Do we like it? Personally, I prefer it to the first one. I like the timeless quality of it, and the way that the light is coming in to the room. It seems rather mysterious.
The artist called Mary “an ideal sitter” and said, “When I started this painting I wanted to enrich the painting with sort of historical references. And I was really trying to be faithful to my ‘impression’ from the very first time I met the princess – and that was in May (2005). It was the impression of a very strong, confident and professional person and, yet, it’s all wrapped up with the fairy tale obviously that’s associated with her, and her world at the palace.”
Here’s Mary checking it out:
3. 2012, Guggar Petter
Here is a more recent portrait which was done by Danish artist Guggar Petter in 2012, and it’s my favourite of them all:
The portrait was donated by the artist to the Museum of National History, which is located in Fredricksborg Castle outside of Copenhagen. The museum also borrowed Gugger’s portrait of President Obama that was commissioned from her in 2007 by one of Obama’s benefactors.
Here is a look at the unveiling, which was attended by Mary:
4. 2012, Romero Britto
This colourful pop art portrait by Brazilian artists Romerro Britto was unveiled on May 6, 2012 at Gallery Copenhagen.
As you can see, Mary is decked out in the Danish Ruby Parure tiara and has acquired some blue hair.
While we’re on the subject, Mr. Britto has also done portraits of Princess Charlene and Prince Albert as well as William and Kate:
He sure likes hearts:
Oh, and the Queen, too: