A portrait of former taoiseach Brian Cowen by artist Blaise Smith has gone on display at the Royal Hibernian Academy.

The commission for the Department of the Taoiseach was managed by the Office of Public Works Art Management Office.

It will later go on display in Leinster House.

Mr Cowen was Ireland’s 12th Taoiseach, succeeding Bertie Ahern.

He was in office for nearly three years, from May 2008 until March 2011.

Smith, who lives in Co Kilkenny, is an award-winning member of the RHA, and has been described as one of Ireland's leading Figurative painters.