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Biography

Lionel George Henricus Wendt (known as Lionel Wendt) (3 December 1900 – 19 December 1944) was a Ceylon pianist, photographer, literature collector, critic, and cinematographer. Wendt was a founder member of the Colombo '43 Group of Sri Lankan artists and along with George Keyt and Harold Peiris is also known for his efforts to popularise Kandyan dance and other Sri Lankan dance forms. The Lionel Wendt Art Centre is a major art centre and theatre in Colombo, Sri Lanka, dedicated to his memory.

Wendt's friend and poet Pablo Neruda wrote in his memoirs that Wendt "was the central figure of a cultural life torn between the death rattles of the Empire and a human appraisal of the untapped values of Ceylon."

Born to Justice Henry Lorensz Wendt and Amelia Wendt, Lionel Wendt was educated at S. Thomas' College before traveling to London in 1919 to study law at the Inner Temple. He also studied at Royal Academy of Music under Oscar Beringer. He considered a career as a concert pianist, but return to Ceylon in 1924 and became an Advocate starting his brief legal practice.

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