Heath Ledger Portrait: The 2008 Archibald Prize
On Thursday, this portrait of a brooding Heath Ledger, which was painted shortly before the Australian actor died in January, was voted the most popular painting in the 2008 Archibald Prize competition. The Archibald Prize is Australia’s top art prize for portraiture. Ledger posed for the portrait in December at Ledger’s family home in Perth, Australia.
Ledger, who was best known for his role as a conflicted gay cowboy in the 2005 movie Brokeback Mountain, died at the age of 28 in New York on January 22, 2008. Artist Vincent Fantauzzo, 29, had been friends with Ledger for many years.
The portrait features a bare-chested Ledger against a black background, looking straight out of the canvas with two other images of the actor at the sides whispering into his ears. Fantauzzo refused offers to sell the painting and said that he had spoken to Ledger’s family, who requested that the portrait be donated to the New South Wales Gallery in Sydney, Australia.
Remembering Heath Ledger (1979-2008)
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