Leonard William French (1928-2017) Australia

Biographical Information

Born in Victoria in 1928, initially trained as a signwriter, but in a career change to art, French undertook extensive independent studies in the United Kingdom and Europe, and later in the Far East.

Very early in his career he showed a leaning towards large-scale design in various media. He is greatly interested in religious philosophies, and his art is concerned with the communication of ideas arising from his studies of these philosophies.

In 1963 he was commissioned to design the stained glass ceiling for the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. One of the world's largest glass ceilings at 61 x 15 metres, it took him five years to assemble to 10,000 pieces and was unveiled at the gallery's opening in 1968.

During his career he held over 40 solo exhibitions and he won multiple awards over the years, including the Blake Prize (twice) and the Sulman Prize in 1960, for a painting called The Burial. In 1968, he received an OBE for his service to painting.His works are represented in several state galleries and overseas collections.

He died in Melbourne on 10 January 2017. Edit or add to this biography

Market Information

The Crossing
Highest Price:
The Crossing
Enamel on hessian on composition board, 182 x 366 cm
Important Australian Art, Sotheby's, Sydney.
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 Total number soldNumber with imagesHighest priceRecent average price*
Paintings239151A$156,000 A$8,670
Works on Paper5427A$57,500 N/A
Prints & Graphics9933A$8,250 N/A
Objects33A$7,680 N/A

* Calculated on sales over the last three years, where there are a sufficient number of sales over that period.

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