Percy  French  


Percy French was a self-taught landscape painter and illustrator. Born near Tulsk in Co. Roscommon, he was educated in England and later completed an engineering degree at TCD. Ever the entrepreneur, he started various journals including the Irish Punch, wrote plays and comical sketches, and acted and sang in many of his own theatrical productions. By the 1890s he was listed as a 'working member' of the Dublin Sketching Club, and between 1891 and 1901 French showed twenty-four works at the RHA. He was a popular member of the United Arts Club, Dublin, and a member of the Belfast Art Society. His painting entitled `The Queens Entry into Dublin' is in the NGI, whilst in the Royal Library of Windsor is a drawing of Queen Victoria's procession entering Phoenix Park. However, he is best remembered for his atmospheric watercolour paintings of Irish bogs and skies, typically painted using a 'wet-on-wet' technique. His work as both an artist and popular entertainer is commemorated by the Percy French Society, which was formed in the 1980s, and which has collection of some eighty watercolours by French on permanent display in the North Down Heritage Centre.

Artist's Gallery