ENTERTAINMENT

Nelson Mandela: Largest Ever Portrait Of Former President To Mark 95th Birthday (PICTURES)

14/05/2013 14:47 BST | Updated 02/06/2013 20:14 BST

He's a huge name with a big chapter in the history books - now the largest ever portrait of Nelson Mandela is to go on sale, priced at a handsome £193,000.

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Paul Blomkamp's portrait of Nelson Mandela

At 4.2 metres x 4.2 metres the image dwarfs 1.98 metres (6ft 5”) tall artist Paul Blomkamp. The artist intends the portrait to mark the 95th birthday of the former President of South Africa this July.

Concerns for Mandela's health were raised in March after the politician was submitted to hospital with a lung infection.

In a statement on its website last month, the African National Congress said: "After receiving a briefing from the medical team, the National Officials are satisfied that President Mandela is in good health and is receiving the very best medical care."

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Paul Blomkamp alongside his portrait of Nelson Mandela

The large painting of Mandela took 14 months to create, using Blomkamp’s medium of acrylic paints on nine individual canvasses, which collectively form the overall image.

The South African-born artist was commissioned to produce the (then) largest stained glass window in the world at the age of 19. In recent years Blomkamp has completed portraits of Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson.

Blomkamp said: “I wanted to capture Mandela’s legendary smile in perpetuity. He has one of the most captivating faces I have seen.”

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Paul Blomkamp alongside his portrait of Nelson Mandela

The portrait of Nelson Mandela is available exclusively through luxury launches website VeryFirstTo.com.

Watch Nelson Mandela's Inauguration Speech:

Nelson Mandela Quotes