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Artist Louis le Brocquy dies aged 93

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.

Irish President Michael D Higgins led tributes to the artist.

"Louis le Brocquy's pioneering approach to art, influenced by the European masters, was highly inspirational," he said.

"His works, including the Tinker Paintings, broke new ground and opened dialogue around the human condition and suffering.

"Through painting, tapestry and print Louis le Brocquy has provided us with individual works and collections that give the insight and response of an artist of genius to Irish history, culture and society."

The President said both he and his wife Sabina were deeply saddened to hear of Le Brocquy's death and offered heartfelt sympathies to family and friends.

"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," he said.

Self-taught artist Le Brocquy is survived by his wife, and sons Pierre and Alexis.

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.