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See Manchester heroes captured on canvas at city restaurant Gusto

24  july 2015

Manchester’s inventors and rebels have been captured on canvas at Italian restaurant Gusto.
The five-metre wide Renaissance mural has been painted by Moss Side-born artist Michael J Browne and includes portraits of pioneering Mancunians Alan Turing, Ernest Rutherford, Salford physicist James Joule, Emmeline Pankhurst, John Dalton, pioneering academic Marie Stopes, and motor car manufacturers Charles Rolls and Frederick Royce.
The Industrial Revolution, the Manchester to Liverpool passenger railway and the Manchester Ship Canal are also pictured, alongside iconic buildings such as the Beetham Tower, Old Trafford and the new Spinningfields development.

Important figures from music and literature also earn their place in the parade, with Bee Gees brother Robin Gibb, Noel Gallagher, authors Elizabeth Gaskell and Shelagh Delaney, and poet Carol Ann Duffy making an appearance. Charity campaigner Kirsty Howard is also in the painting.
A Gallipoli soldier kneels at the cenotaph, an angel standing by with a Victoria Cross, and the Peterloo Massacre is captured in stained glass in Central Library window.
There’s even a forlorn looking Pat Phoenix, better known as Coronation Street character Elsie Tanner, leaning on the locked door of the closed down Rovers Return.

Living Ventures founders Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts appear as Renaissance angels, and managing director Sue Crimes is also included. And the artist has even snuck himself in - as a drummer boy ‘banging out the beat of time’ behind Emmeline Pankhurst.
Browne, who lives in Rome, has been working on the panel in situ for seven months, and finished the painting this week with the addition of the Community Manifesto - conceived by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels at Chetham’s Library in 1845 - to a book that Carol Ann Duffy is holding.
Now he’s looking for help to name the painting and is asking M.E.N. readers to come up with a phrase or motto that best sums up the spirit of Manchester and the painting. The phrase will be written above the columns of Central Library.
Talking about the painting, Browne said: “My brief was based around Central Library and the idea of Manchester firsts and achievements.
“I’ve extended that to famous people, and I’ve picked people who are famous for being rebellious or for their hard work in the city.
“I used a Piero della Francesca composition because if you look at Albert Square it’s very similar to the way he captured architecture.
“The whole image i held together with the theme of Renaissance art, as a developmental journey through time. With Leonardo Da Vinci-esque angels carrying books of knowledge around Central Library - the hub of knowledge, and also the first public library in the country I believe.”
It is not the first time Browne has turned famous faces into Renaissance characters. Eric Cantona, Ricky Hatton, George Best, Wayne Rooney, Winston Churchill and, most recently, Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal have appeared in his work. He also recreated the roof of the Sistine Chapel under the arches of Whitworth Street West




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