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Signed Spielberg portrait set to benefit hospice

THIS special portrait of Steven Spielberg with Abraham Lincoln on his shoulder is set to make a packet for an Irish hospice.

The painting by Dublin artist Mark Baker will go under the hammer at an auction this weekend to raise funds for the building of a hospice in Wicklow.

The standard price for the portrait, which is set to be signed by Lincoln director Spielberg, is around €2,000, but Mark hopes that the Oscar-winner's signature will bump up the price.

"The reserve price will be about €2,000, which is normal for a portrait of that size, but we expect it to be worth a lot more than that after he signs it and especially if Lincoln wins an Oscar," Mark (28) told the Herald.

Mark, who lives in Bray, was approached by the Wicklow Hospice and asked to paint the portrait of the world famous director.

The canvas oil painting shows the director in a sitting position wearing glasses and a baseball cap, with a shadow of Daniel Day-Lewis' character in the film, US president Abraham Lincoln, on his shoulder.

Spielberg will hit Dublin this week and is also donating memorabilia from the Oscar-nominated Lincoln, as a favour to his close friend Day-Lewis, who is a patron of the Wicklow Hospice Foundation.

Day-Lewis will be in Dublin this weekend accompanied by Spielberg and Lincoln co-star Sally Field for the European premiere of the movie in the Savoy in Dublin.



gloves

The premiere will be followed by a special gala dinner at the Burlington hotel, where the Lincoln stars will be joined by a host of Irish celebrities including Dublin director Jim Sheridan, Bono, the Edge, Sinead O' Connor and President Michael D Higgins.

Day-Lewis, who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of US President Abraham Lincoln, donated funds raised at the European premiere of the film to raise money for the hospice.

Mark and another Irish artist, Eoin O'Connor were approached about the paintings and Eoin completed a portrait of My Left Foot star Day-Lewis, which will also be put up for auction at Sunday's event.

Memorabilia including Lincoln's handmade knife, Lincoln's white gloves and miniature soldiers featured in the movie will all go under the hammer at the Dublin premiere next Sunday.

hnews@herald.ie