By Meadhbh McHugh
College has commissioned a portrait in oils of the current Provost, Dr John Hegarty, which is expected to be completed to coincide with the departure of the Provost from Office.
Wicklow-based artist Conor Walton has been commissioned to paint the portrait, which will involve five sittings of three hours duration each.
College said, “Commissioning a portrait of every Provost to hang in perpetuity in the College is an important element in maintaining a historical College record through the medium of art. Trinity College Dublin represents a tradition of commissioning and collecting art that is at least 300 years old, with the earliest known record of the existence of paintings dating to 1710.”
The art collections include representations in painting, print, sculpture, and statuary, with a significant historical focus on portraiture.
The portraits depict figures that were active in, or inspirational to, the University’s development and, according to College, are “important as a commemoration of these people and their achievements. They also form a record of Irish and international painting.”
Walton and the Provost have had three sittings so far and Walton said Hegarty was “a very nice man, generous with his time and committed to getting the job done.” Walton says the plans for the portrait are now in place although not yet executed.
Conor Walton has also painted portraits of Professor Diarmuid Shanley, Dean of the Dental Hospital in 2000, Cardinal Desmond Connell and Lt General James Sreenan, former Chief of staff of the Irish Defence Forces.
The portrait of the current Provost is expected to be hung alongside the other portraits of former Provosts in the ante-room leading to the Board Room of the College.
For security reasons the College’s Provost’s portraits are not on view in public areas but the art tours of the College which the Curator occasionally conducts give staff and students access to them.
The cost of the portrait in oils will be €10,000.