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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)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  2. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  3. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  5. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  6. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  7. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  8. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  11. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  12. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  15. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  16. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  18. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  19. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  20. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  21. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  22. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  24. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||