ANTWERP, Belgium - What better moment for celebrity portrait painter Peter Engels to have business tycoon Richard Branson model for him than during a two and a half hour interview?
Artist Peter Engels: “The event organised by the Antwerp diamond community, with the support of Flanders DC seemed the perfect opportunity to have Richard Branson pose for me. Charming lady Marlène de Wouters interviewed him, but most of all, she easily kept Richard Branson smiling for a couple of hours, which was just enough for me to finish the painting.”
For artist Peter Engels this was a challenge knowing that it usually takes him three or four weeks to finish one painting. In front of an international audience of journalists, politicians, students and entrepreneurs, portrait master Peter Engels painted Richard Branson’s close-up portrait on a large canvas (100x200cm) in his typical style of sepia tones and with the pallet knife. In the background we see the Antwerp skyline by night.
The painting was signed by Richard Branson himself, making this piece of art an even more desirable collector's item to be auctioned on Wednesday 20 June at Bernaerts Auctioneers, Antwerp. The full proceeds will go to Virgin Unite, Virgin’s not for profit foundation.
With Branson’s signature and the proceeds going to Virgin Unite, insiders believe that the price of this masterpiece is bound to top Peter Engels' recent portrait of ancient Greek philosopher Hippocrates, which reached 45,000 euros. But as Richard Branson says: “Have fun, do good and the money will come”.
Artist Peter Engels paints many celebrities and his biggest problem is getting them to pose for him. His Nelson Mandela portrait adorned Reuters’ largest billboard of the world on Times Square on Mandela’s birthday. When Peter Engels painted Grace Kelly, Prince Albert of Monaco bought the portrait. Peter Engels met and painted fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld and Roger Moore. He also painted visionary Steve Jobs, President Barack Obama, actor Sean Connery, golf legend Tiger Woods, Enzo Ferrari, Sheikh Khalifa, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Pavarotti and many more. The conspicuous Vintage Portraits of Peter Engels are gleaming; they show emotion and tell life stories.
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Art Auction: Wednesday 20 June 8PM (Antwerp time, GMT+1)
48 hours prior to online/telephone bidding
Online bidding starts 6 June