Frederik VI, 1794
This portrait of the Crown Prince is the earliest known of Frederik (VI) without a wig. The Crown Prince’s natural hair is, however, powdered and combed back. At the end of the 18th century fashion too had been influenced by the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s radical thinking about the natural. Therefore, wigs, big hairstyles, tight bodice dresses, and richness of detail in clothing were being replaced by a simpler style. The portrait was painted in 1794, and the Crown Prince wears a blue admiral’s uniform.
There is uncertainty about whether Jens Juel painted this portrait himself. The great interest in being portrayed by the popular artist meant that he had to get assistance to complete the many commissions. His workshop was for the same reason known as Juel’s ‘portrait factory’ by sharp tongues of the time.