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Colour


Colour is reduced to a minimum – just shades of grey – to emphasise form.


Style


There are hints of Cubism in the simplified forms of the figures.


Technique and materials


Fig. 7.18 A Family, 1951, by Louis le Brocquy, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin


chosen characters. W. B. Yeats and James Joyce were painted many times. Samuel Beckett, Francis Bacon and Seamus Heaney were among the acquaintances that he painted.


Le Brocquy is regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest artists. His work has been shown all over the world and is in some of the great collections.


A Family Subject


This painting of a family group represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 1956, where it won an important prize (Fig. 7.18). It was also shown at the 50 Years of Modern Art exhibition at the World Fair in Brussels in 1958, in the company of work by Cézanne and Matisse.


Composition


The heavy structure in the upper middle of the painting divides the family in two. The alert, stony- faced man in the left foreground is cool in colour and has his back to the woman and child. The woman, who is in warmer tones, leans down to the child, who is looking up to her. One could make a commentary on family and relationships based on the painting.


The oil paint is applied in evenly marked brushstrokes on the canvas. The brushwork helps to describe form.


Image of W. B. Yeats Subject


The painting depicts an image of W. B. Yeats’s face (Fig. 7.19).


Fig. 7.19 Image of W. B. Yeats (detail), 1976, by Louis le Brocquy, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin


CHAPTER 7: IRISH ART IN THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES 139


ART IN IRELAND


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