NEW PORTRAIT OF HRH THE PRINCE CHARLES, DUKE OF ROTHESAY, UNVEILED AT SCOTTISH NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
A stunning new portrait of HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, will be unveiled in the Great Hall of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (SNPG) in Edinburgh today (Tuesday 24 July 2018).
The portrait, painted in oil on linen, is the work of the distinguished artist Victoria Crowe and was painted at Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland earlier this year. This is the first portrait of the Duke of Rothesay to enter the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) collection.
Victoria Crowe OBE FRSE RSA (b.1945) is a widely admired artist whose practice encompasses portraiture, still life and landscapes. Portraits by her are included in a number of major public and private collections, including that of the National Galleries of Scotland.
The first major exhibition of Crowe’s portraits, Victoria Crowe: Beyond Likeness, which is now on show at the SNPG, will be a highlight of the 2018 Edinburgh Art Festival programme, which opens this week and runs until 26 August. Victoria Crowe: Beyond Likeness will continue until 18 November.
Crowe often uses objects and other personal symbols and sympathetic settings to evoke the personalities of her sitters, and the resulting portraits are richly layered with personal resonance and meaning. Numerous prominent cultural figures, ranging from actors, authors, publishers, composers and scientists, including Nobel Laureate Sir Peter Higgs, composer Thea Musgrave and astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell are among the sitters whose portraits are included in Beyond Likeness.
Victoria Crowe commented on her new portrait of The Duke of Rothesay: “This commission was a very great pleasure… I had four sittings at Birkhall. The first visit was intensely vivid, with beautiful light on the landscape, thick snow around and plummeting temperatures. His Royal Highness was extremely relaxed and generous during the sittings and we talked about painting, the Royal Drawing School and shared interests, as well as attitudes to conservation and ecology. The more we spoke the more I realised the importance Birkhall and the sanctuary it had provided. So, the landscape element of the painting became very specific. I felt that so much of his thinking was rooted in a deep love of the natural world… and indelibly linked with a philosophy of respect and sustainability. I was not painting a symbol of power or establishment but an engaging, thoughtful and sympathetic human being. Because of time constraints, I had to paint as directly as possible… no time for many sketches”.
Christopher Baker, Director of European and Scottish Art and Portraiture at the National Galleries of Scotland said: “We are delighted with this new portrait for the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland. It is a deeply thoughtful and sensitive portrayal of His Royal Highness and encompasses all the subtlety, insight and delight in painterly effects that Victoria Crowe’s work is rightly renowned for. It also perfectly complements the experience of seeing her impressive exhibition currently at the Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. ”