James Le Jeune RHA

James le Jeune was born in Canada in 1910 to an Irish mother and French father, but he grew up in Brittany. He studied architecture at Central London Polytechnic after attending art classes at Heatherly College, London and Student’s League New York. He later continued his artistic training at National College of Art and Design, Dublin. He trained as an architect in London for seventeen years. After serving in the British army during World War 2, he left his profession in order to pursue his first love, painting.

In 1948, he moved to Ireland and quickly established himself as a portrait painter of talent. His innate sensitivity to human emotions and his ability to convey these in a sincere and natural way was rare, at the time, in the context of Irish portrait art. He exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1950 and at Victor Waddington Galleries in Dublin in 1954.

He spent time in Spain and America and painted a series of landscapes, cityscapes and figure studies from there in watercolour. In Spain, he was introduced to what would become a prevailing theme in his work - the bull fight. He often returns to other sporting events such as polo players and horse racing.

James le Jeune was a prolific painter and member of Royal Hibernian Academy. His work is in a number of important collections including National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin; Abbey Theatre, Dublin; National Self-Portrait Collection and Crawford Gallery, Cork.
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