A #Neoclassical #Masterpiece
It is our pleasure to announce that the Royal Danish Collection has become one Jens Juel painting richer. The portrait represents Crown Princess Marie and her daughter, Princess Caroline, and was painted in around 1800. The painting has been passed down through a cadet branch of the royal family for 200 years, but will now enter the company of ten other works by Juel at Rosenborg. The portrait can be seen from Sunday 27 December.
Jens Juel (1745-1802) was the royal family’s, the nobility’s and the affluent bourgeoisie’s feted portrait painter, and almost all influential Danish people of the period were painted by him. In 1780 Juel became the court portrait painter, and most of the members of the royal family were portrayed by the artist several times. Crown Princess Marie had been portrayed in a more than two-metre high painting eight years earlier, while Juel had already painted her husband, the future Frederik VI, shortly before his confirmation in 1783.
In Juel’s paintings grace is united with realistic depictions. The representation of the country’s Crown Princess walking on her flat feet in a garden without status symbols would have been unthinkable a few decades earlier. With the French Revolution came a liberation of the arts, which Juel had witnessed during his many years of travelling abroad, and he was therefore able to live up to the, for the time, modern demands and expectations of art which were also emerging in Denmark.
The portrait is also of art historical interest because it depicts the private sphere and is a representation of mother and child strolling “spontaneously”. It was precisely around the turn of the century that Juel painted many mothers with children, and quite in keeping with the spirit of the age children were allowed to express themselves, and family bonds were expressed in a different way than before.