His Majesty Crown Prince Frederik portrait by Kasper Eistrup

Frederiksborg Castle National History Museum in Denmark

Group of Amateur Artists from Hvidovre go at the exhibition a in Roman Empire

One of the beautiful February days, I and a group of my favorite artists – amateurs, whom I meet every Thursday in painting classes, went to the exhibition at the Frederiksborg Castle.

The plan was to see one of the most exciting paintings in Denmark in these days – Kasper Eistrups portrait of the Successor of the Throne, Crown Prince Frederik.

In addition to this “pearl”, we were also going to see other paintings of the artist which were available for us too, as this was his first solo exhibition. In total 84 artworks from the artist, 20 years working with art are exhibited at the castle.

My group, always joyful and creative artists, gathered just after lunch in front of the castle. The castle itself deserves a separate story. It’s both amazing and beautiful at the same time, and it is essential because of the history of Denmark. But about the castle, I might write another time.

After buying tickets, we all went to the exhibition with works by Kasper Eistrup and let me add a few words about the artist.

Kasper Eistrup, known as the former vocalist and guitarist of the Danish rock band Kashmir, has devoted himself to art. The artwork, showing His Majesty Crown Prince Frederik, was made for the museum of Frederiksborg Castle.

As I’m not Dane and haven’t even followed the Danish rock music, I can’t tell you if it’s good Kasper resigned from the world of rock music, though I can tell you I’m glad that he decided to focus on painting.

His paintings, being on the edge of surrealism, symbolism and realism, appeal to me. I am glad that the artist experiments and combines techniques from lithography, drawings and paintings and create a kind of collage. And of course including, as was the main attraction today, the painted artwork of His Majesty Crown Prince Frederik.

The history of how the portrait of High Prince was created, is known to most Danes. The artist portrayed the prince in the Royal Castle Amalienborg. He rearranged the living room, which for Princess Mary was accepted with some doubts and only for the sake of the art.

Kasper Eistrup, Portrait of Prince Frederik
Kasper Eistrup, Portrait of Prince Frederik
Kasper Eistrup, Portrait of Prince Frederik

The painting shows the Prince in the role of a gentleman, a relaxed version of James Bond. As far as I know, this was the artist’s intention, and I admit the two characters, James Bond and the gentleman, was my first impression. Not the heir to the throne but a gentleman, Bond and a martini on the table… shaken not stirred.

At first, my eyes got a little confused by the composition; diagonal. It’s challenging to work with a diagonal layout.

The artwork is broken by a nonexciting line, that cuts the artwork into two parts. Artist balance the composition with tables on one side and a tree on the other and the harmony is intact in this way.

It is also essential to locate the figure of the High Prince, who seats in the corner of the couch. He is like a central point and makes a ballast for the composition. Diagonals bring a specific dynamic to the image, tension; it electrifies the space on the canvas.

The second surprise is a pink sofa. It exists at the Royal castle Amalienborg. The juxtaposition of this piece of furniture with the prince, also adds a kind of glamour, sophistication.

And then there’s a tree, growing straight from the carpet. One of the surrealistic and symbolistic features of Kasper. Is it a fig tree? I do not know if the artist deliberately used this tree, but his symbolism is strongly connected with the biblical message, and a man resting in their shadow of a fig tree is a symbol of peace, prosperity and safe existence.

The abstract background is slightly too much antagonistic with other objects. A way to create the background is quite typical for Kasper. Different, thin lines and doodles.

However, it brings a bit of confusion to the picture. With this amount of detail, in contrast with the rug, I think I prefer a more uniform, stable background.

Maybe the artist intended to introduce this “anxiety” ant to intrigue a viewer.

The High Prince Frederik sits with scattered hands, relaxed. Who would not be after such a martini and if he was James Bond?

Dressed in a tuxedo, apparently, it is a special gift for the 10th anniversary of the wedding from the High Princess wife.

If I had to play in a psychologist, I would say that the artist presented the High Prince as an open, modern man, a good listener, a remarkable versatile human being.

Here, it is vain to look for signs typical of royal family performances such as; signs of power. Well, unless you consider it a tuxedo and a fig tree.

I like the various characteristics appearing in the picture. For example, how the artist painted the shirt or shoes and the face. You can easily see that the artist is very talented.

Generally, the picture makes a good impression on me. It is indeed unique when it comes to presenting royal family members, in this case, the future king of Denmark.

I feel slightly unsatisfied when I looked at some lack of precisions when the artist painted the legs, especially shown in the thickness of the ankles etc. The edges of the sofas could have been much more carefully done.

It’s a bit like Kasper was in a hurry or decided that the knees of the prince and his ankle in socks should not deserve more attention. While there is no doubt about the artist’s talent, we could expect greater perfection in this painting, created especially for the museum. But it’s my impression and my opinion. Of course, the time available to the artist may also have played a part. But in such cases, the necessary time must be given.

Opinions from the participating group

I was very excited about the image of the Crown Prince probably because you recognized him easily. The easily recognizable is probably from where my excitement comes.

Anyway, the part of the painting where there were only doodles was absolutely incomprehensible to me, and when we saw the other paintings of the royals, ministers and other characters, my enthusiasm fell. It was as if he had been too busy. The rest of his paintings I could not understand. Others must judge them.

– Preben M.

Kasper Eistrup shows me fun subjects with exciting effects. Regarding the Crown Prince, I see a relaxed Frederick with a warm, humble expression. He appears as a quite ordinary guy in an environment that also doesn’t seem particularly royal.

That said, the artist has nevertheless managed to bring out the dignified and nice person that Crown Prince Frederik is now. Well done.

– Helen Friis

I was both impressed with the exhibition, but also a little disappointed. Kasper Eistrup’s painting with Crown Prince Frederik, I had previously seen on TV, where I became very excited about it. But when I saw the painting in reality, I was a little disappointed. Crown Prince Frederik looked 10 years older.

However, there were many beautiful features in the painting. Kasper Eistrup’s many other portraits were stunningly beautiful, but messy because of his way of building the paintings as a kind of collage.

We had a great trip to the castle which was so beautiful and the weather was lovely; It was the most beautiful spring forest day you could imagine.

– Linda Engblom

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