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John Byrne, b. 1940. Dramatist and Artist
© Ryan McGoverne

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John Byrne, b. 1940. Dramatist and Artist 2011

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
Paisley-born John Byrne has one of the most recognisable faces in Scottish culture. He is often referred to as a ‘Renaissance Man’, combining several careers – author, playwright, theatre designer, director and artist. In his most famous play, 'The Slab Boys', Byrne drew on his experience as a paint mixer in a Paisley carpet factory. During the 1980s Byrne wrote the cult television series 'Tutti Frutti', followed by 'Your Cheatin' Heart', which used country and western music as a backdrop to a comedy of Glasgow life. In this portrait, Byrne’s head is illuminated, as if a Renaissance portrait, so as to almost appear floating against the black backdrop. It was the first photograph McGoverne took during the shoot, before Byrne had taken his coat off.

Glossary Open


A period in European culture from the 14th to the 16th centuries in which the visual arts flourished with advances in the treatment of anatomy and the use of perspective. It is particularly associated with Italy, where it began, though the term applies elsewhere. It is noted for a revival of interest in the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome.



  • Acc. No. PGP 852.2
  • Medium Giclée print
  • Size 46.00 x 35.00 cm (paper 51.00 x 40.50 cm)
  • Credit Gift 2012