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Paul Henry, b.1876

Errigal, Co. Donegal1920

Primarily a landscape painter, Henry’s early work often included figures working in the landscape. In later work, such as Errigal, Co. Donegal the figure and other representational objects, such as cottages and animals, are absent from the composition, suggesting a shift towards abstraction. This painting, like many of Henry’s landscapes, features a low horizon line with a mountain range in the middle ground, framed by expansive areas of sky with large cloud formations. In the early stages of his career charcoal was Henry’s preferred medium and he continued to use charcoal throughout his career in his preparatory sketches, many of which were done outdoors.
Henry constructs this image through form and colour rather than line. He employs a subdued, monochromatic palette which he uses to convey the mood and atmosphere in the painting, rather than attempting to depict the reality of the actual scene.

MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions36 x 38 cm Framed: 53.5 x 57.5 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Heritage Gift by the Bank of Ireland from the Bank of Ireland collection, 2008
Item NumberIMMA.2602
Image Caption
Paul Henry, Errigal, Co. Donegal, 1920, Oil on canvas, 36 x 38 cm Framed: 53.5 x 57.5 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Heritage Gift by the Bank of Ireland from the Bank of Ireland collection, 2008

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Paul Henry 1876–1958

Belfast born painter Paul Henry has been credited with the creation of a particular notion of Irish identity in the 20th century, based on the landscape and lifestyle of the West of Ireland. Henry worked as an illustrator in London until a visit to Achill Island in 1910 inspired him to turn to painting. Henry's paintings of Achill provided an image of Ireland that perfectly fitted the aspirations of the first post-independence governments. He moved to Dublin in 1919 and co- founded the Society of Dublin Painters in 1920. The National Gallery of Ireland held a major exhibition of Henry’s work in 2004.
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