Louis le Brocquy was born in Dublin in 1916. From 1934 to 1938 he studied Chemistry at Trinity College, Dublin and then left Ireland to study the collections in European museums and galleries before settling for a time in London. He began painting in 1939. In 1958 he married the Irish painter Anne Madden and the couple settled in Carros, France where they lived until their return to Dublin in 2000. He died in 2012.
Louis le Brocquy typically painted in a delicate manner with layered washes of rich colour emerging from flat white backgrounds to build up images through a series of irregular geometric planes that suggest the movement of light over his subjects. Initially inspired by the stark contrast of light and shadow created by figures viewed against whitewashed walls in Spain, le Brocquy often painted in series. Notable amongst these are the Traveller, Family and Procession series ,as well as his Ancestral Heads and portraits of Irish writers, which were influenced by decorated Polynesian ancestral skulls.
Louis le Brocquy represented Ireland at the 1956 Venice Biennale, where he won the Premio Acquisito Internationale, and at the Fifty Years of Modern Art exhibition at the 1958 Brussels World Fair. He became the first person to be awarded the IMMA/Glen Dimplex Lifetime Achievement Award for a sustained contribution to the arts in Ireland in 1994 and in the same year he was elected Saoi of Aosdána. Le Brocquy was also an Honorary member of the RHA.
In 2006 his 90th birthday celebrations included ten one-person exhibitions in France, Ireland and England and an Honorary Associateship of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. In 2007 he was awarded the freedom of the City of Dublin. His work has been exhibited at countless venues across Europe and throughout the world.