Image of Bono, 2003

Louis le Brocquy, 'Image of Bono', 2003 ©The Artist.

Louis le Brocquy (Irish, 1916-2012)
Image of Bono

Oil on canvas, 122 x 91 cm
Commissioned, National Gallery of Ireland, as part of the Irish Life and Permanent Portrait Series, 2003


Born in Dublin, Bono (Paul David Hewson) began to play the guitar in his youth, inspired by the music of Patti Smith, Thin Lizzy and The Ramones. He acquired his nick-name from a school friend Guggi, who took it from the title of a hearing-aid shop in Dublin called Bono Vox (Latin for 'good voice'). This was later shortened to Bono. From the early days of U2, Bono was the band's dominant force, playing guitar, singing, writing songs, and commanding a renowned stage presence. His high-profile charitable work has included being actively involved in campaigning for debt relief in Africa, working with DATA (Debt, AIDS and Trace in Africa) with the support of several world leaders and financial backing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Louis le Brocquy painted a series of 'head' portraits of influential figures from Irish cultural life including Samuel Beckett and James Joyce.