A new portrait depicting DAME Judi Dench as a "wealthy housewife" was unveiled at London's prestigious National Portrait Gallery today (19JAN05).

ALESSANDRO RAHO's painting of the OSCAR-winning actress sees Dench standing against a white background, dressed in casual clothing.

Dench says, "I was thrilled and very flattered when the gallery said they wanted to commission my portrait.

"Alessandro was charming and immediately put me at my ease. It was a pleasure to work with him."

And Londoner Raho had a specific vision of Dench he set out to achieve with his painting.

He explains, "In my mind I cast her as a wealthy housewife who shops at JAEGER and drives a MERCEDES. That was her role in my imaginary film."

19/01/2005 21:31