Irish portrait artist and still life painter Edward McGuire (1932-1986), is best known for his study of dead birds and portraits of writers and poets. McGuire’s best-known sitters include Seamus Heaney, Paul Durcan, Anthony Cronin and Pearse Hutchinson. Many of his portraits have a surreal quality derived from McGuire’s love of unusual studio props such as stuffed birds and highly stylised leaf decoration. This feeling is strengthened by the often remote and static pose of the sitter which defies the realist precision with which they are executed. The portrait of the artist Patrick Collins from the IMMA Collection, painted just three years before McGuire’s death, is unusual in its avoidance of these devices.
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