Their Royal Highnesses were greeted by Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen J Toope and Fitzwilliam Director Luke Syson, who accompanied them up the Museum's grand staircase to view the contemporary portrait by award-winning British artist Jamie Coreth.
“The University of Cambridge was delighted to welcome Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on their visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum to unveil a new portrait,” Professor Toope said.
The first official joint portrait of The Duke and Duchess, was commissioned in 2021 by the Cambridgeshire Royal Portrait Fund, held by the Cambridge Community Foundation, as a gift to Cambridgeshire.
With this brief in mind, Coreth worked to incorporate the City of Cambridge into the portrait by painting the background with the tones and colours of many of the historical stone buildings that are synonymous with the city. The portrait also includes the use of a hexagonal architectural motif which can be seen on buildings across Cambridge.
"It is very exciting to be the place where the public can see this splendid double portrait of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, by Jamie Coreth, the first ever painted. We’re particularly pleased that its display at the Fitzwilliam will jump start a new phase in programming for children around art and creativity," Luke Syson Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum said.
Members of the public will be able to view the portrait at the Fitzwilliam for an initial period of three years, after which the artwork will be exhibited in other community spaces and galleries around Cambridgeshire. The painting will also be loaned to the National Portrait Gallery for a short time in 2023 to mark the Gallery’s reopening.
During their visit, Their Royal Highnesses met with Jamie Coreth, supporters of the project, and Lady Sibyl Marshall – the wife of the late Sir Michael Marshall, who originally proposed the idea to create the portrait.
Image: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, 2022 by Jamie Coreth. Credit: Coreth + Fine Art Commissions
Reproduced courtesy of the University of Cambridge