Dimensions: 18 x 23cm
Collection: Niland Collection
Provenance: Purchased by Mr. P Glendon in 1961, from The Ritchie Hendriks Gallery
Born in Wicklow and educated in Dublin, George Campbell lived in Belfast for many years where he became associated with progressive painters including Gerard Dillon and Dan O’Neill. Like many of his contemporaries, Campbell was inspired by the west of Ireland and painted numerous images of Travellers and landscapes of Connemara. His other great influences were the music and culture of Spain. From his first visit in 1951, Campbell was enchanted by the Spanish way of life and began to split his time between Ireland and Malaga. A talented musician, he studied Flamenco guitar and eventually became a recognised expert in the style. In 2003 Campbell’s contribution to the music and art of Malaga was recognised when a street in the town was renamed in his honour.
Campbell was a great admirer of Jack B. Yeats and the two artists enjoyed discussing their shared passions of horse racing, rowing and boxing. Like Yeats, Campbell painted what he knew:
“I only paint people whom I know very well. I know guitar players. I know men who dig in fields. I know tinkers and gypsies. I don’t ever try to step out of what I know best” (1).
1. George Campbell, George Campbell: A Tribute, exhibition catalogue, Jorgensen Fine Art, Dublin, March 2003.
Written by Riann Coulter