Berber Chieftain, 1983

One of the last paintings my grandmother did – and one of my own favourites, with well-observed subject and loose impasto brushwork.

According to my mother, Lee referred to a photograph (possibly Berber or Tuareg, from North Africa) from the pages of a National Geographic magazine. She also is said to have enlisted the help of a live model – Mr. Peterson – who was a close family friend, and the husband of Elizabeth, who modelled for the “Merry Meri” portrait of a laughing woman wearing a straw hat.

Lee Franclemont, 'Berber Chieftain', 1983, oil on linen. Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.

Lee Franclemont, ‘Berber Chieftain’, 1983, oil on linen. Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.

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