BECKETT, SAMUEL (1906-1989, Irish writer and poet)
PORTRAIT BY JOHN MINIHAN (b. 1946), vintage photograph, silver print, head and shoulders, slightly looking down to the right, signed and dated by Minihan, stamped on verso and with pencilled note '6/6', framed and glazed, size of image 26 x 40 inches (66 x 102 cm), overall size 30 x 43 inches (76 x 109 cm), Room 604, Hyde Park Hotel, London, 1980
This massive photograph, one of the most impressive images of Beckett, was taken in Room 604 at the Hyde Park Hotel in London in 1980. Minihan had left a note for Beckett at the hotel offering to show him some photographs and duly went round when Beckett invited him to do so. He recalls: 'Mr Beckett opened the door with a smile on his face. He put me immediately at ease. He was dressed casually, wearing flip-flops. The room was a small one at the back of the hotel, overlooking the park...He had a great face for black-and-white and he certainly posed...' There was a well-thumbed copy of Endgame on the bedside table. Minihan also photographed Beckett in 1984.
John Minihan was Beckett's primary photographer. Some portraits of Beckett by John Minihan are in the National Portrait Gallery but the images are not shown for copyright reasons.
REFERENCE: John Minihan, Samuel Beckett: Centenary Shadows, 2006.