Portrait of The Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, Archbishop of Hartford
Remarks delivered by the Artist at the dedication of the portrait of Archbishop Leonard P. Blair, Seventh Bishop of Toledo at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral on April 8, 2016, "When asked to paint portraits for the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, I was honored that my work would be included amongst the enumerable great works of art that have been commissioned by the Catholic Church throughout history. That the paintings would hang in Toledo’s Catholic spiritual center, Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, was humbling. The profound statement by Michelangelo, “La vera opera d'arte non è che l'ombra della perfezione divina”, reminded me of the daunting task before me. I was entrusted with painting the portrait of the man responsible for teaching, governing, and sanctifying the faithful of his diocese, sharing these duties with the priests, deacons, catechists and teachers who serve under him - to teach the truth. I offer the Diocese and city of Toledo a work that portrays the Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, Archbishop of Hartford, Seventh Bishop of Toledo. He sits in the cathedra, gazing directly and intently at the viewer. Wearing a zucchetto and Pontifical vestments, the purple mozzetta over the choir cassock, with rochet, and pectoral cross, he greets us. His left hand holds the Liturgy of the Hours, and on his right hand he wears his episcopal ring. Here, the Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, Seventh Bishop of Toledo, is portrayed with the symbols of the historical continuity of the Catholic Church, the faith and the union of Bishop to his Church, the Consecrated life, and the devotion to his diocese.Today, we are celebrating Bishop Blair’s legacy. We are celebrating his lasting role as Seventh Bishop of Toledo, his positive imprint on the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, and as a wonderful and unique human being – through a living and lasting portrait – through my vision - through art. I am deeply honored that my painting will be included in the collection of works by the artists, architects, and craftsman that came before me - that built this beautiful and sacred Cathedral. While working alone in the cathedral, or in my studio, I often considered the historical significance of this portrait. In the same way I felt when privileged to portray the Most Reverend Bishop James R. Hoffman, my sincere hope is that it not only honors Bishop Leonard P. Blair, but the legacy of all the Bishops that preceded him. I am humbled and grateful to the Church, to Bishop Daniel E. Thomas, and to all that made this possible."