Artist Louis le Brocquy, an Irish painter best known for his evocative portraits of literary figures, died Wednesday at his home in Dublin at the age of 95. The Irish Times writes that he had been ill for the past year.
Irish President Michael D. Higgins praised le Brocquy’s work, calling it “highly inspirational” and ranking it “amongst this country’s most valuable cultural assets.” The president added that he and his wife Sabina were deeply saddened to hear of the artist’s death.
“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,” Higgins told BBC News.
Rock band U2, originally from Dublin, also gave a touching tribute to le Brocquy.
“From the moment we met him, our band had a strange intimacy with this giant of the art world – a gentle giant who taught manners to the world around him just by having more of them than anyone else,” the group said.
“We were fans but he called us friends, starstruck friends were common in his orbit.”
Born in Dublin in 1916, le Brocquy’s work spanned seven decades with most of his recognition and fame coming from his abstract portrait heads of Irish poets WB Yeats and James Joyce and his friends Samuel Beckett (seen below), Francis Bacon, Seamus Heaney and Bono (also below).
In recent years, Louis le Brocquy‘s work has attracted the attention in the international marketplace and commanded six-figure prices at auctions, reflecting his status as Ireland’s greatest living painter.
Le Brocquy is survived by his wife Anne Madden Le Brocquy and his two sons Pierre and Alexis.