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Leonard French

Rostrum end of the Great Hall, University House, Australian National University, showing artworks by Leonard French (Regeneratation, 1972) and some from The Journey series (1974; 10 pieces, all in the Hall).[1]
Leonard French ceiling at the National Gallery of Victoria

Leonard William French OBE (born 8 October 1928) is an Australian artist, known principally for major stained glass works.

French was born in Brunswick, Victoria to a family of Cornish origin. His stained glass creations include a series of panels in the cafe and foyer of the National Library of Australia in Canberra,[2] and a stained glass ceiling for the great hall at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, which is one of the largest in the world.

Another important piece of work French created was in seven panels, The Legend of Sinbad the Sailor, in 1956. It hung in the Legend Cafe in Melbourne.

In 1987, French completed a major commission for the Haileybury Chapel in Melbourne, including dozens of stained glass mosaic windows of varying shapes and sizes and a large reredos.

He has held more than 40 solo exhibitions in Australia, and been part of many group exhibitions outside Australia.

French currently resides and continues to paint in his studio in Heathcote, Victoria.

He has been married three times, and has seven children and five grandchildren.


French won the Sulman Prize in 1960 with The Burial, and the Blake Prize for Religious Art in 1963 and in 1980. He was also awarded a Harkness Fellowship in 1965.

In the Queen's Birthday Honours of June 1968, he was appointed an Officer (OBE) of the Order of the British Empire.[3]


  1. ^ University House and Garden, ANU
  2. ^ National Library of Australia, Bookplate cafe, retrieved January 2009.
  3. ^ It's an Honour

External links

  • Biography
  • Leonard French in National Gallery of Australia
  • Leonard French at Australian Art
  • Leonard French, image of 'Tapestry' in the University of Ballarat collection

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