John Schwatschke was born in Dublin 1943 to Austro-Irish parents. Known as a Carlow portrait painter due to his family home being there since his father’s arrival in 1926.After secondary school at The King’s Hospital, the artist studied briefly at The National College of Art, Kildare Streetm Dublin (art and architecture) and as a draughtsman with a prominent Dublin architect. Also studied portraiture under Franz Erhmer in Munich. Originally interested in musical composition for pianoforte, his first art patron Pres. E. de Valera persuaded him to give up music for art: “Do one thing and do it well, and I believe that should be art”.