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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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  1. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  3. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  4. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  5. atrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  6. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  7. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  8. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  9. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  10. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  11. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  13. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  15. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  16. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  17. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  19. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  20. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  21. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  22. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry