The Cypriot / Chris Gaynor
2022 Highly Commended Artwork
About the artwork and sitter
This portrait is steeped in accomplished painting and artistic tradition. In portraying his good friend Chris Gaynor, Leonard Brown is referencing both El Greco, and William Dobell’s painting of the Cypriot.
Brown says: “As a 14-year-old it was my habit to visit the Queensland National Gallery (as it was called at the time) the main attraction for me Sir William Dobell’s portrait of the Cypriot circa 1940. One never forgets first loves.
“Chris’ striking physical appearance along with his inner light and noble Cypriot demeanour, it became obvious to me that a portrait needed to be made. At the time of the sitting Chris had turned 26. Conceptually, that the portrait refers to Dobell’s Cypriot is glaring obvious…for me a visitation to my beginnings. The scale of the portrait that of the Dobell, 121 x 121cm.”
About the artist
Leonard Brown has had a long and illustrious art practice since his first solo exhibition in 1968. He has won many accolades including the Inaugural Brisbane Portrait Prize Lord Mayors Portrait Prize, and the Blake Prize for Religious Art. He is also a three time finalist in the Sulman Prize at the AGNSW.