Shen’s portrait of retiring Sir Peter goes on display

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Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, by Jiawei Shen. Photo: David Hempenstall/DPS

A PORTRAIT of the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, by artist Jiawei Shen, was unveiled today (June 20) at Parliament House. 

Sir Peter was appointed the 26th Governor-General in March 2014, and retires from the position this month.

The son of a soldier, he has devoted his life to public service, including serving in Vietnam where he was awarded the Military Cross. He was commander of the International Task Force in East Timor, Australia’s chief of Army and chief of the Defence Force before retiring from the military in 2005.

Sir Peter was named Australian of the Year in 2001 and also led the task force to rebuild communities around cyclone-ravaged Innisfail, QLD, in 2006.

The portrait of Sir Peter is artist Jiawei Shen’s fourth commission for the historic memorials collection. He has previously painted the portraits of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, David Hawker in 2007, former Prime Minister, John Howard in 2010, and in November last year, former Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop.

Shens’ full-length portrait of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has become a destination piece for visitors to the National Portrait Gallery.

The portrait was commissioned for the Parliament’s Historic Memorials Collection and will go on display on the first floor, Members Hall, Parliament House.

The Historic Memorials Collection is Australia’s longest-running art commissioning program.

Founded by Prime Minister Andrew Fisher in 1911, the collection has commissioned portraits of Prime Ministers, Speakers, Presidents, Governors-General and the Head of State.


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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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