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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. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  3. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  6. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  7. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  8. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  9. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  11. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  12. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  13. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  14. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  17. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  18. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  19. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  20. atrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  21. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  22. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  23. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  24. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats