James English
Irish Artist Noted for Still Life Painting: Biography, Paintings.


James English RHA (b.1946)

The eminent Irish artist James English, is noted for his outstanding representational art, particularly his still life painting and landscapes. A member of the Royal Hibernian Academy, he has held numerous solo exhibitions and his work appears regularly at the RHA annual exhibition, as well as numerous galleries including: Jorgenson Fine Art, James Gallery, Kilcock Art Gallery, and The Lavit Gallery, Cork.

One of Ireland's best still life painters, his work is admired by many other contemporary Irish artists as well as private and corporate collectors, and is represented in several important art collections such as: the Office of Public Works (including Leinster House), The National Library, AIB, Jefferson Smurfit Group, National Irish Bank, the Irish Management Institute, Smithwicks, Tara Mines, the collection of former President Mary Robinson, the Concept Gallery Pittsburg USA, and the Royal Hibernian Academy, to name but a few.

For a guide to oils/watercolours
see: Irish Painting.
For answers to popular queries,
see: Irish Art Questions.

Born in Naul, Co Dublin, and interested in art from his early youth, he practised drawing and painting on whatever materials were available, and when these ran out he drew on walls and windows. After working in horse racing, he became a part time student at the National College of Art and Design during the 1970s. He began exhibiting in 1974, at the Balbriggan Town Hall, and has been a full time artist since 1977.

As a painter, James English belongs to the Realist tradition. He works from sketches and numerous colour notes, usually in his Skerries studio, although his still life studies are done on the spot. He also paints abroad, in Spain, and particularly in The Netherlands and northern Italy, where he enjoys the sharpness of light and local colour tones. A master in the depiction of light - a skill which is especially apparent both in his still lifes and his paintings of Venice - he prefers working in oils because of its lustrous, reflective characteristics.



Over 20 solo shows for James English have been staged in a variety of art galleries including: The Tattan gallery (1976, 77, 78, 79); Gallery 22 Dublin (1980, 1982); The Kilcock Art gallery (1984, 1987, 1991); The James Gallery Dalkey, Dublin (1988, 1990,1993,1997, 2000); the Europa in Brussels (1996); and The Lavit Gallery, Cork, (2001).

In addition, his paintings have appeared at the RHA annual show (1979-2008); the RHA Banquet show (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2003-08); the Oireachtas Art Exhibition (1979, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1991, 2000), and many other group exhibitions in Ireland, Europe and the USA.

He was elected an Academician of the RHA in 2005, and is represented by (inter alia) Gormley's Fine Art.

More Information

• For details of other creative practitioners from Ireland, see: Irish Artists: Painters and Sculptors.
• For more about still life painters like James English, see: Irish Art Guide.
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