Louis Le Brocquy – Portrait of Samuel Beckett

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I chose to talk about this image painted by Louis Le Brocquy of Samuel Beckett in 1979 (oil on canvas). Le Brocquy has produced a collection of portraits, either painted in watercolour or oil. He was driven as a painter with fascination of the human condition, and worked to uncover / discover aspects of the personality in his paintings. 

I admire how the painting is distinguished by lines and there is no specific outline to the face; Le Brocquy has painted it in a way that our mind picks up the shape of the face as it would be seen in person. The brush strokes appear fast and with force but I think it was more planned out and thought over; the painting seems to have been poured over with interest and thoughtful detail. The colours are unusual and I find it interesting Le Brocquy uses a variety of colours (unmixed) to highlight features in the face. It creates depth and intensity. The image of a head floating on the canvas with nothing surrounded it is a little haunting, almost ghostlike. The thought and memory of a person, and then it’s gone, and you’re left with a trace of their face.

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One thought on “Louis Le Brocquy – Portrait of Samuel Beckett

  1. Thanks for posting this amazing work. I love it and in the first moment itade me think of Shakespeares Hamlet, the scene where hamlet sees the ghost of his father, asking for revenge.
    This work is so strong, it doesn’t even give you the chance to think about it but just make you-force you to feel.

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