Cornelius McCarthy, “Harry and Stephen One Night”, Date Unknown
Cornelius McCarthy was among the top painters of the male form working in Britain in the second half of the twentieth century. His earliest artistic influence was probably through the artefacts and images used to promote Catholic devotion that he grew up with. Through these McCarthy became familiar with the compositions of the masters of the Italian Renaissance.
His formal study was completed at Goldsmith’s School of Art, London, followed by a tour of Italy visiting all the principal art collections and monuments. McCarthy was greatly influenced by the work of Pablo Picasso following his first great post-war show in 1n 1960 at London. Later McCarthy was influenced by the British artist Keith Vaughan and many of his early works show him working through these influences.
Cornelius McCarthy’s work is characterised by a solid sense of composition and the use of still-life elements that often give a ‘cubist’ feel to his paintings. Since his untimely death in 2009, many early paintings and drawings have come to light that were never intended for exhibition.