The Louis Le Brocquy Collection

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Biography

Born in Dublin in 1916, Louis le Brocquy is a towering figure in the history of Irish painting. According to a recent editorial in The Irish Times (November 4, 2006): 'This self-taught artist has come to be recognised both at home and internationally as the foremost Irish painter of the 20th century.' His work has received much international attention and many accolades in a career that spans seventy years of creative practice.
According to John Russell, 'When Louis le Brocquy first came to be known as a painter, some (fifty) years ago, it was not as the civilised head-hunter that he has lately become. It was as a story-teller, a symbolist, and a thoughtful enquirer into the conditions of life. Widely acclaimed for his evocative heads of literary figures and fellow artists, including W.B. Yeats, James Joyce and his friends Samuel Beckett, Francis Bacon, Seamus Heaney and Bono, in recent years le Brocquy's early Tinker subjects and Family paintings, have attracted headline attention in the international art arena marking him as the fourth painter in Ireland and Britain to be evaluated within a very select group of artists, alongside Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Francis Bacon. The recent realisation of over £1 million for one of his works at auction is not merely a record but an acknowledgment of his genius and international appeal. Acknowledged by museum retrospective exhibitions worldwide, the artist's work is represented in numerous public collections, from the Guggenheim, New York to the Tate, London. In Ireland he is honoured as the first and only living painter to be included in the Permanent Irish Collection of the National Gallery.

Le Brocquy left Ireland in 1938 to study the major European art collections in London, Paris, Venice and Geneva, then exhibiting the Prado collection during the Spanish Civil War. His return to Dublin signalled the advent of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art, which established an effective forum for contemporary art in Dublin in 1943. Emerging as an innovative and influential artist, in 1946 le Brocquy moved to London and became prominent in the contemporary art scene. He began to exhibit internationally, winning a major prize at the Venice Biennale in 1956 where he represented Ireland. In 1958, he was included in the historic exhibition Fifty Years of Modern Art, Brussels World Fair. The same year he married the Irish painter Anne Madden and left London to work in the French Midi.

Le Brocquy's inquiry into the human condition is seminal to his motivation as a painter. This underlying concern has informed a number of significant developments. According to Francis Bacon: 'Le Brocquy belongs to a category of artists who have always existed - obsessed by figuration outside and on the other side of illustration - who are aware of the vast and potent possibilities of inventing ways by which fact and appearance can be reconjugated.'
 
The Táin Lithographs:
They consist of three different sets of twelve black and white lithographic brush drawings selected from the book, ‘The Táin Bo Cuailnge’ by Thomas Kinsella. These include The boy Cúchulainn armed, The bull of Cuailnge, The leaping wolfhound, Cúchulainn confronting Ferdia, Medb relieving herself, Army massing, The charuiots, Noisiu ,etc. Five additional lithographs and four chromolithographs separate. Limited edition of 70 proofs (1 artist's proof), each sheet individually signed, numbered, including portfolio numbers I, II & III, and dated by the artist. Printed by Frank O'Reilly, Dublin, on Swiftbrook paper, each 54 x 38 cm. Large folio, unbound. Boxed by Museum Bookbinders, Dublin, black boards stamped in white in a design by the artist.