The making of a portrait is an intimate experience, one which can be a pleasurable event for both parties or one that's fraught with difficulties. Either way, to paint someone's picture is a unique way of really getting under their skin. In a world where anyone can make a realistic likeness on their cellphone, the importance of the painted portrait remains: as an emblem of power and prestige, as a political act and ultimately as a memorial. These themes and many others are explored through the work of three of Ireland's most notable portrait painters: James Hanley, Mick O'Dea and Brian Maguire.
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