1921-2012 | American
Signed and dated "LeRoy Neiman '85" (lower left)
Oil on board
LeRoy Neiman is regarded as one of America's premier painters of sports and leisure, known for his energetic paintings of sporting events, celebrities and urban idylls. The present work is an exceptional example of his animal portraits, which he produced throughout his career. Neiman painted dogs in settings as diverse as racecourses, hunting grounds and Parisian boulevards, but regardless of the backdrop, he captures his subjects with a sensitivity to both anatomy and personality. Monumental in size, this charming portrait captures two greyhounds with a sense of still readiness that perfectly emulates the character of the beasts. Neiman's graceful, flowing lines mimic the inherent elegance of the breed; alert and watchful, they reflect the artist's homage to the greyhound.
Born in Minnesota in 1921, LeRoy Neiman long considered himself an illustrator; his first job as a teenager was, in fact, illustrating signs for a local grocery store. After serving briefly in the military in Germany, he returned to the Midwest to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he eventually became a teacher of illustration. In the early 1950s, he would meet a man who changed the trajectory of his career - Hugh Hefner. Shortly after he published his first five issues of Playboy magazine, Hefner invited Neiman to contribute an illustration to the publication, beginning a relationship that would endure for more than half a century.
His success with Playboy allowed him to branch out as an artist in his own right, and he soon became the de facto artist of the world's most famous sports stars and entertainers. His subjects included the likes of Mickey Mantle, Muhammad Ali, Sylvester Stallone and quarterback Joe Namath, as well as Olympiads and major sports teams from around the country. Today, his works remain highly prized for their brilliant palettes and star-studded subjects, earning him a place among the most coveted American artists of all time.
Board: 45 1/8" high x 60" wide
Frame: 52" high x 64" wide