CANBERRA.- To coincide with the centenary of the birth of Sir Donald Bradman AC (27 August 1908), the National Portrait Gallery will receive a superb portrait of the Australian cricket legend painted by Bill Leak, as a gift to its collection. Painted from life in 1990, the portrait will be donated by Mr L Gordon Darling AC CMG, the National Portrait Gallerys Founding Patron, and has been on temporary loan to the Gallery since 1999.
27 August 2008 marks yet another century for The Don. For me, its the perfect time for my sporting hero to enter our national collection said Mr L Gordon Darling AC CMG.
It is impossible to imagine an Australian National Portrait Gallery without a portrait of Bradman. Bill Leak painted the portrait from life in 1990 and included in it a subtle visual allusion to Bradmans elegance and effectiveness with the bat during his playing career. Leak is one of our best political cartoonists, but in this portrait we see him in serious portrait mode, paying tribute to a towering figure in Australian sporting history, said Mr Andrew Sayers, Director, National Portrait Gallery.
Artist Bill Leak has written of this portrait in a country where religion has largely been replaced by sport, it was easy to see my responsibility as capturing the likeness of the Almighty.
The portrait will feature in the Inaugural Hang in the new, purpose-built National Portrait Gallery building, opening 3 December 2008.