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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. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  3. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  4. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  5. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  6. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  7. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  9. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  10. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  11. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  12. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  14. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  15. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  16. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  17. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  18. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  19. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  21. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  22. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  24. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl