Brian Dunlop Various Works
Brian Dunlop, Portrait of Professor Samuel Richardson and others
Brian James Dunlop was born in Sydney on the 14th October 1938. and is one of Australia's most recognisable realist portrait painter and artist. He studied art at the Eastern Sydney Technical College between 1954 and 1959 before going onto travel and study in Europe and North Africa. During the 1960s and 70s, Dunlop's style developed under mentor, Justin O'Brien from large realistic interiors with light falling on nudes to more atmospheric scenes enhanced by technical finesse. Between 1969 and 1981, Dunlop held a number of part-time teaching and artist in residence positions. Between 1984 and 2004, Dunlop travelled and painted visiting Italy, New Zealand and the United States. Dunlop also visited Turkey taking five separate trips to the country.
The fascination Dunlop held with Turkey is evident in his exhibition 'Gazing at Turkey' in 2005 at the Australian Galleries in Melbourne. In about 20 works of art, Dunlop captured in fine detail daily life in Turkey. In the accompanying text to the exhibition, Dunlop is stated as being more interested in the soul expressed on the faces of the men who sit interminably in cafes, apparrantly musing and reflecting but simply made idle by unemployment and committed to capturing them selflessly. His pictures seem to look beyond the viewer and the place, almost abstracting themselves from reality around them. These works of art are much like his portraits- they are bold and brash with colour and full of life.
During his career, Dunlop painted the portraits of a wide number of personalities. These included fellow artist, Brian Seidel, Tom Lowenstein, Ann Purves (founder of Australian Galleries), and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Between 1963 and 2009, Brian held over twenty solo exhibitions and participated in at least ten group exhibitions. His works are represented in all the major public galleries in Australia as well as educational institutions and corporate collections. Brian Dunlop passed away in his Victorian home in 2009.
The Works of Art
The portrait of Samuel Richardson, AO CBE, is tpcal of Brian Dunlop's style in that Dunlop uses bright and bold colours helping the the sitter stand out. In this case Professor Richardson is wearing a bright gold and purple scarf against his dark grey suit. The portrait has a fine quality to it that would even surpass photography. His painting has a sense of character and warmth. Painted oil on canvas, the portrait was comissioned in 1983 just before Richardson retired as Foundation Principal.
According to Michael Rhodes, Professor Samuel Scruton Richardson AO, CBE was born on 31 December 1919 to Samuel and Gladys Richardson in Nottinghamshire, UK, studying in Maganus School, Newark-on-Trent before studying at Trinity College, Oxford and at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. Following service in the Royal Marines during World War II, Richardson trained as a lawyer and was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn, London in 1958. Richardson also served on the overseas civil service in Nigeria and held a number of senior University positions including vice Chancellor Ahadu Bello University, Nigeria and Acting Vice-Chancellor, University of Mauritius. In 1960, Richardson was made a member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). This was subsequently upgraded to a Companion of the British Empire (CBE) five years later. In 1980, Richardson was also appointed AO.
From 1971, Samuel Richardson was an ocasonal lecturer in Islamic Law at the Australian National University. This led to Richardson settling in Australia and he gained Australian citizenship in 1975. From 1980, Richardson was involved as a consultant for the Australian Law Reform Commission. Between 1969 and 1984, Samuel Richardson acted as a Foundation Principal for the new Canberra College of Advanced Education (later to become University of Canberra). From 1984, Richardson was firstly an Emeritus Fellow and then Emeritus Professor from 1990. Following his retirement, Richardson eventually moved back to the UK and lived in Warminster, Wiltshire until his death in 2004.
Created in the same year, as the above portrait, the University's Art Collection has another representative work by Dunlop, known as 'Still Life with Blue Bottles. Again, this work is highly realistic and plays cleverly with the effect of natural sunlight from a nearby window on a series of bottles. The composition is effective and pleasing to the eye.