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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Leonard French, 1980s (printed 2018)

Jacqueline Mitelman

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 58.7 cm x 48.8 cm, image: 43.2 cm x 33.3 cm)
Image not available

Leonard French OBE (1928-2017), artist, left school at fourteen to become an apprentice signwriter in his native Melbourne. He later studied part-time at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. After the war, he visited Europe, studying the Byzantine art whose influence would later become evident in his work. On his return to Australia, he taught at various Melbourne technical schools until the late 1950s. In 1956 he completed the seven-panel Legend of Sinbad the Sailor which hung in the ultra-modern Legend Café in Melbourne. Henceforth, he became one of the country's most successful and sought-after artists (although he worked as the National Gallery of Victoria's Exhibitions Officer between 1956 and 1960). Having won the Sulman Prize in 1960, he took out the Blake Prize in 1963 and 1980. In between, his enormous dalle de verre (concrete and slab glass) ceiling in the Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria was commissioned in 1963, and completed in 1968. Incredibly, it was his first work in this medium. Other monumental glass projects of the sixties and seventies were the windows for the new National Library in Canberra and the Alpha and Omega window in Monash University's Blackwood Hall, and in 1972 he painted the ten-metre square mural Regeneration for the Great Hall of University House, ANU.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2018

Accession number: 2018.126

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Jacqueline Mitelman (age 28 in 1980)

Leonard French (age 52 in 1980)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Jacqueline Mitelman video: 3 minutes 37 seconds
Jacqueline Mitelman video: 3 minutes 37 seconds
Jacqueline Mitelman video: 3 minutes 37 seconds
Jacqueline Mitelman video: 3 minutes 37 seconds

Jacqueline Mitelman

'Buddha-nature'

Portrait story

Australian photographer, Jacqueline Mitelman, discusses her process for creating portraiture.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.