Portrait artist Cyril Coetzee paints a portrait of Nelson Mandela. The oil painting was used as the international stamp to commemorate Mandela’s 90th birthday. His previous artwork includes well-known academics, legal professionals, business people, bankers and politicians. Portraits of Graça Machel, Matthews Phosa, Colin Bundy, Anton Rupert, Conrad Strauss and George Bizos all sit proudly in an effortlessly compile gallery body of work. However, Coetzee privately painted this portrait as a sacred piece to pay homage to the late president whom he knew and interacted with. The artist shares how the portrait aims to highlight Mandela’s sensitivity over and above his strength being that it was what Coetzee valued most about him.
“It is deeply introspective. Showing an introverted side to the charismatic, bold leader. it is a rare encapsulation of Mandela looking within.”
Nelson Mandela sat twice for Coetzee for commissioned portraits, once during his term as President and again together with Graça Machel for a wedding portrait. These portraits were both for Mandela’s private collection and were originally displayed in the entrance chamber of his Johannesburg (Houghton) residence. On his website, Coetzee displays several smaller portraits of Mandela. All painted as studies and related exercises. “There was always more than one portrait to be painted of Mandela because there were so many facets to who he was,” said Coetzee.
See more work by Cyril Coetzee here: https://cyrilcoetzee.com/