Patrick Kavanagh by Patrick Swift, London 1961, Oil on Canvas
The poet's big, hulking, slightly shapeless body leans angularly towards the viewer, while his face is ridged and furrowed into what verges on caricature, yet remains a very good likeness, a psychological likeness as much as a physical one. Only a man with a keen literary sensibility could have painted it, a man who could get inside his sitters psychologically.
— Brian Fallon (chief arts critic to The Irish Times for 35 years), 'Patrick Swift and Irish Art', 1993
Patrick Swift's portrait of Patrick Kavanagh, for example, is positively iconic. Painted in London in 1961, it is ambitious in scale and scope, giving an account of the writer as a monumental — though somewhat truculent — figure. No single viewpoint could give us the view of Kavanagh's head that Swift offers. It is as if he unfolds a conventional three- dimensional image in a quasi-cubist manner.
— Aidan Dunne (art critic), The Irish Times, Sat 12 Dec 2006