Portrait of ANU Law Professor, Tim Bonyhady, has been selected as one of the 47 finalists for the 2015 Archibald Prize.

The portrait, by first time Archibald entrant Andrew Sayers, has been selected from over 800 entries that were submitted to the Archibald Prize this year and is one that Sayers says has been many years in the making.

“I had long wanted to paint a portrait of my friend of 30 years,” says Sayers, “the portrait is a tribute to Tim’s wide-ranging intellectual curiosity as well as an attempt to capture his unique physical presence.”

Professor Bonyhady is one of Australia’s foremost environmental lawyers and cultural historians, and director of the ANU’s Centre for Environmental Law. He has also written numerous books on culture and Australian art. Professor Bonyhady also has a strong family connection to the art world, his mother’s family having been major patrons of the arts in fin-de-siecle in Vienna before coming to Australia, and Gustav Klimt having done a portrait of Bonyhady’s great-grandmother, Hermine Gallia.

Sayer’s portrait of Bonyhady resonates a lot with the Klimt piece, the grey background with subtle hints of purple and green he says is a direct allusion to the Klimt.

Sayers was director of the National Museum of Australia from 2010 to 2013 and before that the inaugural director of the National Portrait Gallery from 1998 to 2010. In 2014 he was a finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.

The finalists of the Archibald Prize will be on a touring exhibition from 2 October 2015 to 24 July 2016 around New South Wales.