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Artist Michael Shane Neal's work on display at the Tennessee Capital

governor bredesen
Governor Bredesen, by Michael Neal

By John Disque

Michael Shane Neal, a long time brilliant Nashville artist, had his painting of Governor Phil Bredesen unveiled at the Tennessee State Capital Building in Nashville on Wednesday, December 15th. It hangs along side paintings of all the former governors throughout Tennessee's history.

Governor Bredesen was obviously touched and had some trouble finding a way to explain his feelings. "It's hard to describe what an honor it is to think of your portrait hanging here for a long time to come," said Bredesen.

The painting itself captures many aspects of the governor's personality including his pride, concern, deep thought, and courage. That's just to name a few. It reminds me of the John Sevier paintings and his ability to see the whole picture and concern himself with what was best for all of residents of Tennessee. For an artist to capture that truly is amazing.

Neal is among the most sought after portrait artists in America today. Listed among 20 contemporary artists "On the Rise" in The Artist Magazine's annual survey in 2004, Neal's unique, sensitive and insightful paintings display a commitment for portraying not just the outer likeness of his subjects, but their character and personality as well.

governor bredesen
Painting of Governor Bredesen by Michael Neal hangs in the state capital

Neal's web site,, provides more information about his work and background.

Published December 29, 2010

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