Famous Irish Artists & Painters

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Yvonne McGuinness

Yvonne McGuinness
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Famous As: Visual Artist
Birthdate: October 12, 1972
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kilkenny, Ireland
Irish visual artist Yvonne McGuinness is renowned for her video installations and prints. Most of her art works revolve around themes of conflict between revealing and hiding one’s true self. She has also made several short films, such as Charlie's Place. She is married to Irish actor Cillian Murphy.

 2 Neil Harbisson

Neil Harbisson
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Famous As: Cyborg Artist
Birthdate: July 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: MatarĂ³, Spain

Neil Harbisson is a cyborg artist best known for implanting an antenna in his skull. He is the first person in the world to do so. He gained international prominence after he was legally recognized by the government as a cyborg. An influential activist for transpecies rights, Neil Harbisson co-founded the Cyborg Foundation in 2010. The organization defends cyborg rights.

 3 Grace Gifford

Grace Gifford
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: March 4, 1888
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rathmines, Dublin, Ireland
Died: December 13, 1955

Immortalized in the Irish ballad Grace, Irish cartoonist Grace Gifford was a regular contributor to many reputed publications such as The Irish Review. She was part of the Republican movement and married her lover Joseph Plunkett just hours before he was killed by firing squad for his invoolvement in the Easter Rising.

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 4 Michael Craig-Martin

Michael Craig-Martin
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Famous As: Sculptor, Painter, University teacher
Birthdate: August 28, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dublin
Irish-born conceptual artist Michael Craig-Martin has created everything from sculptures and paintings to neon artwork and wall drawings. His best-known work was An Oak Tree, which consisted of a glass of water and piece of text. A fine art professor, he is also a mentor to the Young British Artists.
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 5 Sean Scully

Sean Scully
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: June 30, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Best known for his abstract paintings composed of geometrical forms, Irish-born British artist Sean Scully is now based in the US. He worked as a laborer and a truck loader while he trained in art. A former Harvard fellow, he later became the first Western artist to with a career-tracking retrospective in China.

 6 Patricia Cockburn

Patricia Cockburn
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 17, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rosscarbery, Ireland
Died: October 4, 1989

Known for books such as Figure of Eight, Patricia Cockburn was not just an author but also an avid traveler and conchologist. She was also associated with publications such as The Evening Standard and The Week, and became an artist of shell pictures in her later life.

 7 Gottfried Helnwein

Gottfried Helnwein
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Famous As: Visual artist
Birthdate: October 8, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Born in Austria, contemporary visual artist Gottfried Helnwein later bought a castle in Cologne, where he worked, and then moved to Ireland, where he bought another castle and transformed it into his studio. His hyper-realistic performance art and installations, known as Aktions, reflect grim themes such as the Holocaust.

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 8 Stacia

Stacia
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Famous As: Visual artist
Birthdate: December 26, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ireland

Part of the rock band Hawkwind in the 1970s, Stacia Blake, better known as Stacia, is now a popular visual artist in Ireland. Known for her bold dance routines with the band, Stacia often went topless for her performances. Towering over 6 feet, she was also said to be bisexual.

 9 Edward Gordon Craig

Edward Gordon Craig
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Famous As: Actor, Director, Illustrator, Scenographer, Painter
Birthdate: January 16, 1872
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stevenage
Died: July 29, 1966

An illegitimate child of architect Edward Godwin and actor Ellen Terry, Edward Gordon Craig later grew up to be one of the pillars of modernist English theater. While he began his career acting at the Lyceum Theatre, he later switched to set designing. The Art of the Theatre remains his best-known written work.

 10 Jack Butler Yeats

Jack Butler Yeats
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: August 29, 1871
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 28, 1957
Son of painter John Butler Yeats and brother of poet W. B. Yeats, Jack Butler Yeats was an Irish artist who included elements of Celtic mythology and landscapes in his art and thus redefined romanticism and nationalism following the Irish War of Independence. His later paintings drew from Expressionism.

 11 John Lavery

John Lavery
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 20, 1856
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Belfast, Ireland
Died: January 10, 1941

A major figure of the Glasgow school of painting, Irish painter John Lavery is remembered for his realism in his portraits, landscapes, and war paintings. Though made the official artist for World War I, health issues prevented him from fulfilling the role. He was, nevertheless, knighted for his achievements.

 12 Sir William Orpen

Sir William Orpen
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: November 27, 1878
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stillorgan, Ireland
Died: September 29, 1931

Best remembered for his portraits, Irish artist Sir William Orpen was an official war artist for Britain during World War I and the official artist of the Paris Peace Conference. His initial paintings were largely inspired by Realist artist Édouard Manet. Though knighted later, he was posthumously criticized as flimsy.

 13 Jim Fitzpatrick

Jim Fitzpatrick
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: December 29, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Best known for his legendary red-and-black portrait of Marxist leader Che Guevara, which became a symbol of leftist revolution worldwide, Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick had also met the legend as a teenager. Fitzpatrick has been highly influenced by Celtic artwork. He has also released several books on art.

 14 Guggi

Guggi
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: May 13, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Part of the avant-garde movement, Irish artist Derek Rowen, better known as Guggi, had initially performed as part of the post-punk band The Virgin Prunes. He later focused on art and became known for his abstract paintings of bowls and vessels. He has also held exhibitions in the US, Germany, and Monaco.

 15 John Butler Yeats

John Butler Yeats
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: March 16, 1839
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lawrencetown, County Down, Ireland
Died: February 3, 1922

Better known as the father of legendary Irish poet W.B. Yeats, John Butler Yeats was a talented painter in his own right. Initially a barrister, he later studied art formally and focused on painting but failed to sell his works and eventually died in a boarding house.

 16 Kevin Sharkey

Kevin Sharkey
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: 1961 AD
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Born to a Nigerian father and an Irish mother, Kevin Sharkey was adopted and later raised in a foster home, where he witnessed abuse. Initially a dance prodigy, he took to painting as a therapy for abuse. The openly bisexual artist has held successful global exhibitions and has also dabbled in politics.

 17 Paul Kane

Paul Kane
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 3, 1810
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mallow, Ireland
Died: February 20, 1871

Irish-Canadian painter Paul Kane was known for his paintings of subjects ranging from Native Americans, missionaries, and landscapes, and his attention to detail, especially the jewelry and attire of his subjects. Specializing in portraits, he also later released Wanderings of an Artist, which was a collection of his travel experiences.

 18 Mario Rosenstock

Mario Rosenstock
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian and Impressionist
Birthdate: August 31, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom

Apart from being a talented comedian and impressionist, Mario Rosenstock is also a skilled musician. Known for the Irish radio comedy show Gift Grub, he had mimicked everyone from Colin Farrell to Roy Keane. While he has performed in various musical plays, his musical parodies have topped the Irish charts.

 19 Katherine Plunket

Katherine Plunket
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Famous As: Aristocrat
Birthdate: November 22, 1820
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kilsaran, County Louth, Ireland
Died: October 14, 1932

At the time of her death at age 111, Katherine Plunket became Ireland’s oldest person to have ever existed. Born into Irish aristocracy, Plunket was the granddaughter of the first Baron Plunket. She was also well-traveled and was known for her botanical illustrations, collected in Wild Flowers from Nature.

 20 Stella Steyn

Stella Steyn
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: December 26, 1907
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: July 21, 1987

Irish artist Stella Steyn initially studied art in Paris and later at the Bauhaus. She provided illustrations for James Joyce’s novel Finnegans Wake and is remembered for her depictions of the female body and her still lifes, partifcularly flowers. She was practically forgotten in Ireland long time till the late`1990s.

 21 William Mulready

William Mulready
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 1, 1786
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ennis, Ireland
Died: July 7, 1863

Remembered for his depictions of rural life, Irish painter William Mulready had initially gained fame for his still-life paintings and was then inspired by Dutch painters to paint detailed narratives. He also designed the Mulready stationery, including the first postage envelopes and lettersheets in Britain.

 22 Charles Jervas

Charles Jervas
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: 1675 AD
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: November 2, 1739

Eighteenth-century Irish painter Charles Jervas lived most of his life in England and was best known for his portraits. His subjects included intellectuals and literary figures such as Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift. He had also penned a translation of Cervantes’s Don Quixote, which was published posthumously.

 23 Roderic O'Connor

Roderic O'Connor
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: October 17, 1860
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Castleplunket, Ireland
Died: March 18, 1940

Irish painter Roderic O'Connor was part of the Pont-Aven movement and spent much of his professional life in Paris, frequenting artist hubs such as the Chat Blanc restaurant and networking with artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. He is remembered as a major figure of the impressionist and post-impressionist styles.

 24 Evie Hone

Evie Hone
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Famous As: Painter, Stained-glass artist
Birthdate: April 22, 1894
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Roebuck Grove, County Dublin, Ireland
Died: March 13, 1955

While she initially studied painting, artist Evie Hone later switched to stained glass art. Her works exhibit a strong influence of Cubism. My Four Green Fields remains her best-known work, though she received multiple commissions, including the Chapel at Eton College. She also co-founded the Irish Exhibition of Living Art.

 25 John Luke

John Luke
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 19, 1906
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Belfast
Died: February 4, 1975

Known for his figurative paintings and landscapes, artist John Luke incorporated the style of Regionalism in his art. While he initially worked in a shipyard and a mill, an art scholarship changed his life. The Road to the West and The Three Dancers remain two of his best-known works.

 26 Myra Kathleen Hughes

Myra Kathleen Hughes
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: 1877 AD
Birthplace: Wexford, County Wexford, Ireland
Died: 1918 AD

Renowned etcher and engraver Myra Kathleen Hughes became one of the first women to be part of the Royal Society of Painter Etchers and Engravers. She had exhibited her works at the Paris Salon and the Royal Academy and is remembered for her topographical etchings.

 27 Samuel Lover

Samuel Lover
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Famous As: Songwriter
Birthdate: February 24, 1797
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Grafton Street, Dublin, Ireland
Died: July 6, 1868

Reluctant to work at his father’s stockbroking firm, Samuel Lover fled to become a poet, novelist, songwriter, and painter. Known for his miniature portraits and his songs such as Rory O’More, he is also said to have introduced the precursor of the stage Irishman stock character in the novel Handy Andy.

 28 Nathaniel Hone the Elder

Nathaniel Hone the Elder
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Famous As: Miniature painter, and one of the founder members of the Royal Academy in 1768
Birthdate: April 24, 1718
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dublin
Died: August 14, 1784

Apart co-establishing the Royal Academy, Nathaniel Hone the Elder made a name for himself as a master painter of miniatures and portraits. Born into a Dutch family in Dublin, he spent most of his professional life in London. His controversial painting The Conjurer was viewed as an attack on Sir Joshua Reynolds.

 29 Nathaniel Hone the Younger

Nathaniel Hone the Younger
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Famous As: Irish painter, the great-grand-nephew of the painter Nathaniel Hone
Birthdate: October 26, 1831
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: October 14, 1917

Though initially a railway engineer, Irish-born Nathaniel Hone the Younger later moved to Paris to study art. For a while, he stayed at the Barbizon artists’ colony in the forest of Fontainebleau and also traveled widely around France. Known for his farm settings in his art, he also founded a golf club.

 30 Harry Kernoff

Harry Kernoff
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Famous As: Former genre-painter whose work was part of the painting event in the art competition at the 1928 Summer Olympics
Birthdate: January 9, 1900
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 25, 1974

 31 Shane Berkery

Shane Berkery
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Famous As: Contemporary artist
Birthdate: April 9, 1992
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Japan