32" x 24"
Multifaceted to say the least, Louis Briel has dabbled in everything from writing to teaching, but most notably painting. Highlights from the exhibition include original sketches of President John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, and a giclée print of Briel’s original Princess Diana portrait gifted to Elton John. Additional celebrity portrait originals include an abstract of Sophie Loren, Carol Burnett, Keanu Reeves, Salvador Dali, and a poster of tennis legend Arthur Ashe (the original now belonging to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington).
In the article “A Slow Journey Back to Painting for Louis Briel,” published on July 25, 2015 in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bill Lohmann discusses the artist’s career and its origins while at Hampden-Sydney College. After the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, Briel presented his portrait to Robert Kennedy during a visit to the college in 1964. Since then, Briel has received many accolades and his works now hang in numerous prestigious private and public collections.
Despite his achievements as a portrait artist, the Richmond local has had his share of challenges on the road to success. Briel suffered a traumatic stroke in the fall of 2012. According to Lohmann “for a while after the stroke, there was a disconnect between what his left eye was seeing and what his brain thought it was seeing, a particularly thorny issue for an artist to overcome.”