Roger Federer captured on Canvas in four minutes

In a spectacular show, the artist Jean-Pierre Blanchard painted a portrait of Roger Federer at the presentation of the SVC Entrepreneur Award in Zurich in no time at all. The painting was auctioned for charity. The highest bid was made by Ernst & Young Zurich.

Thomas Sauber, a partner and head office manager at Ernst & Young in Zurich, recently purchased an oil painting of Roger Federer on behalf of his company. What is remarkable about this portrait is that the tennis star did not have to sit for hours. The French action painter Jean-Pierre Blanchard only took four minutes to capture Federer's face on canvas from memory without a model. “I was delighted by the artist's performance and the quality of the painting,“ said Sauber.

Painting Auctioned for a Good Cause

The fast-paced art show took place at the presentation of the Swiss Venture Club's (SVC) Entrepreneur Award for the Zurich business area at the Hallenstadion. The painting was auctioned for a good cause at the event itself. “I made an off-the-cuff bid,“ recalled Thomas Sauber. And it secured the lot. The painting was acquired by Ernst & Young for 16,100 Swiss francs. “I would have gone a bit higher but not much,“ he said. All of the money will go to the Roger Federer Foundation which supports children in Africa. Christian Bonnot, owner of the event and artist agency Bonnot’s Event House, which organized the SVC event, explained that the tennis champion had insisted on this condition. He said: “He immediately gave us permission to use his image during the entertainment section. But the proceeds from the auction had to go to his foundation."

Hoping for Federer's Signature

Sauber already knows exactly what he intends to do with the painting. He explained: “Ernst & Young Zurich will soon relocate to new offices in the Prime Tower. We'll hang it up there in a prominent spot.“ However, the attorney at law still has other plans which he hopes come to fruition. “I'd like to organize an employee event at which Roger Federer signs the painting personally and money would be collected for his foundation,“ he added. Although the tennis star's signature would significantly increase the painting's value, Sauber is not entertaining any thoughts of reselling it: “I'm a big fan of Roger Federer. The painting is a collector's item and will remain in our offices.“

Iconic Figure like Che Guevara

Jean-Pierre Blanchard is also a fan of Roger Federer. “I admire him greatly,“ revealed the artist. “He's incredibly talented but has kept his feet on the ground.“ Blanchard immediately accepted the invitation to paint the tennis star's portrait. He required just under four days to prepare. He said: “Federer has a distinctive face that fits with his competitive nature and strong character. He is relatively easy to paint.“ The artist normally paints portraits of figures like Pavarotti or Che Guevara at his shows. “I'd like to include Federer in my standard repertoire,“ he commented.

AC/DC Preferred

Blanchard was more than happy with his performance at the SVC event. The audience was captivated by his show which is a combination of a “dance with a paint brush“ and music. There was one minor drawback. Blanchard said: “The organizers wanted a classic pop track for background music. I would have chosen something by the rock band AC/DC. Their music is more rhythmic, punchier and has greater tempo. That would have suited Roger Federer better."

Date: 02.07.2011, Source: Credit Suisse


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