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Nick Miller - John McGahern

John McGahern

Nick Miller (b.1962)

© Estate of Nick Miller. All rights reserved

  • Artist
    Nick Miller
  • Title
    John McGahern
  • Date
    1998
  • Dimensions
    86.5 × 95.5cm
  • Medium
    Oil on canvas
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Purchased in 2000
Description

Miller’s portraits of artists and writers, people with whom he has a creative affinity, are particularly powerful. This image of the author John McGahern (1934–2006), who lived near Miller, is one of the most successful literary portraits in recent Irish art.

Like Barrie Cooke, John McGahern, shared Miller’s devotion to life in the west of Ireland. While both painters are foreigners who chose to settle in rural Sligo, McGahern was born into a farming background in Leitrim and after years in Dublin and London, returned to the way of life that inspired much of his literature.

Miller recalls that, while sitting for this portrait, McGahern entertained him with stories about his years in London and the people he met there including Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. Astonishingly, McGahern never looked at the portrait in progress and probably never saw the finished piece. He was happy to sit for Miller but feared that he wouldn’t know what to make of a likeness of himself.

Despite such claims, the process of sitting for Miller may have influenced McGahern’s 2002 novel That They May Face The Rising Sun, which includes an artist character who has come to live in the west.

Written by Riann Coulter

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  2. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  3. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  6. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  7. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  11. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  12. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  13. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  15. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  16. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  18. atrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  20. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  21. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  23. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night