Paul Henry (painter)

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For other people named Paul Henry, see Paul Henry (disambiguation).
Plaque to Paul Henry, University Road, Belfast

Paul Henry (11 April 1877 – 24 August 1958) was an Irish artist noted for depicting the West of Ireland landscape in a spare post-impressionist style.

Paul Henry was born in Belfast, Ireland, the son of a Baptist minister. He studied art in Belfast before going to Paris in 1898 to study at the Académie Julian and at Whistler's studio. He married the painter Grace Henry in 1903 and returned to Ireland in 1910. From then until 1919 he lived on Achill Island, where he learned to capture the peculiar interplay of light and landscape specific to the West of Ireland. In 1919 he moved to Dublin and in 1920 was one of the founders of the Society of Dublin Painters. He separated from his wife in 1929.

In the 1920s and 1930s Paul Henry was Ireland's best known artist, one who had a considerable influence on the popular image of the west of Ireland. Although he seems to have ceased experimenting with his technique after he left Achill and his range is limited, he created a large body of fine images whose familiarity is a testament to its influence. The National Gallery of Ireland held a major exhibition of his work in 2004.

A painting by Paul Henry was featured on an episode of the BBC's Antiques Roadshow, broadcast on 12 November 2006. The painting was given a value of approximately £40,000 - £60,000 by the roadshow. However, due to the buoyancy of the Irish art market at that time, it sold for €260,000 on 5 December 2006 in James Adams' and Bonhams' joint Important Irish Art sale.[citation needed]

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