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Girl in White

© the artist's estate. Photo credit: National Museums Northern Ireland

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Born in Dublin, le Brocquy went abroad to study painting in 1938 and studied technique in the galleries of Europe. Of particular importance to him were the paintings from the Prado, Madrid, which were temporarily housed in Geneva before the war. The austere colour harmonies of Spanish painting, particularly those of Velázquez and Goya, have influenced le Brocquy throughout his career. 'Girl in White' is a study of the Dublin-born actress Kathleen Ryan (1922–1985), who was cast in her first film 'Odd Man Out' by Carol Reed in 1947. The work is one of the first le Brocquy painted after his return to Dublin in 1940, and contains references to many of his interests at that time. The pale, diffused tonality of the work derives from his admiration of Whistler and the narrow composition and elongated forms show the influence of the late eighteenth-century Japanese printmakers Kiyonaga and Utamaro.

National Museums Northern Ireland

Art UK Founder Partner

More information




oil on canvas on board


H 122.2 x W 47.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from the Thomas Haverty Trust, 1945

Work type



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