One of Ireland’s best know artists, Louis le Brocquy, has died in Dublin at age of 95. His work, mostly portraiture dealt with the figure in an uncompromising manner that won praise from contemporaries, like Francis Bacon. Brocquy painted many other well known personalities including W.B. Yeats, James Joyce and his friends Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney, Francis Bacon and Bono. Irish president Michael D Higgins said Mr Le Brocquy’s “pioneering approach to art, influenced by the European masters, was highly inspirational”. “Through painting, tapestry and print, Louis le Brocquy has provided us with individual works and collections that give the insight and response of an artist of genius to Irish history, culture and society.”
Louis le Brocquy was an Irish painter born in Dublin. His work received many accolades in a career that spanned some seventy years of creative practice. In 1956, he represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale, winning the Premio Acquisito Internationale (a once-off award when the event was acquired by the Nestle Corporation) with A Family (National Gallery of Ireland), subsequently included in the historic exhibition Fifty Years of Modern Art Brussels, World Fair 1958. The same year he married the Irish painter Anne Madden and left London to work in the French Midi.
Le Brocquy is widely acclaimed for his evocative “Portrait Heads” of literary figures and fellow artists. in recent years le Brocquy’s early “Tinker” subjects and Grey period “Family” paintings, have attracted attention on the international marketplace placing le Brocquy within a very select group of British and Irish artists whose works have commanded prices in excess of £1 million during their lifetimes that include Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Frank Auerbach, and Francis Bacon.
The artist’s work is represented in numerous public collections from the Guggenheim, New York to the Tate Modern, London. In Ireland, he is honoured as the first and only living painter to be included during his lifetime in the Permanent Irish Collection of the National Gallery of Ireland.Le Brocquy died on 25 April 2012 and was survived by his wife Anne Madden and his two sons, Pierre and Alexis.The painter had been ill for the past year.