Artists le Brocquy dies at his home

One of Ireland’s most renowned artists, Louis le Brocquy, has died, a family source has confirmed.

The painter, best known for his portraits of great literary figures and fellow artists, died at home in Dublin aged 95 with his wife, Anne Madden, at his side.

Le Brocquy had been ill for the past year.

He is survived by his wife and his two sons, Pierre and Alexis.

President Micgael D Higgins said: ''Today I lament the loss of a great artist and wonderful human being whose works are amongst this country's most valuable cultural assets and are cherished by us all. Louis leaves to humanity a truly great legacy.''

Born in Dublin in 1916, his work has spanned seven decades with most accolades coming for his evocative portrait heads of, among others, WB Yeats and James Joyce and his friends Samuel Beckett, Francis Bacon, Seamus Heaney and Bono.

Some of his works have been so well regarded that critics have discussed them alongside paintings by Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Francis Bacon.

The National Gallery of Ireland paid €2.75m for le Brocquy’s painting 'A Family' – the first work by a living artist acquired for its permanent collection.

Le Brocquy’s work is represented in numerous public collections, from the Guggenheim, New York to the Tate, London.

The evocative head series grabbed much attention outside the art world, with Irish enterprise and investment gurus using a le Brocquy image to promote the country as a place to do business back in 2006. IDA Ireland also used one of his images of Bono for a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal.

Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, said: “I hope that the wonderful legacy of his paintings, with his truly original approach to art, will provide some solace to her (wife Anne) in the days ahead.”

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