Georgina Moutray Kyle (1865-1950)

Fishing Boats

Oil on board

25cm x 33.5cm

From the collection of the Northern Ireland Civil Service

Georgina Moutray Kyle was born into a wealthy family in Craigavad, county Down. She was educated at home by a governess and tutors, before moving to Paris in 1883 to study art at the Académie Colarossi. Afterwards she travelled widely and exhibited her work in Paris, London, Glasgow, and Liverpool.

On her return to Ireland, she became involved in the art scene in Belfast, becoming a leading member of the Ulster Academy of Arts. From as early as 1902 she ran the life class at the Belfast Art Society, which later became the Royal Ulster Academy. She exhibited with the Society regularly and later became its Vice-President.

Moutray Kyle’s work is held in several public collections in Northern Ireland but despite this she is a little-known figure today. Highly regarded during her lifetime for both her accomplished style and active role in the Belfast art scene, her work is often bypassed in favour of that of her male contemporaries.

Evidence of Moutray Kyle’s travels can be found in her paintings, which frequently depict the streets, harbours and markets of France, Belgium and Holland, as well as her native county Down. Ardglass harbour was one of her favourite places to paint. This oil painting of fishing boats, held in the collection of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, is typical of both Moutray Kyle’s subject matter and her distinctive style which places a strong emphasis on shape by using a heavy outline.