Robin Ironside

Robin Ironside: Neo Romantic Visionary

My uncle Robin Ironside (1912 – 1965) was a painter, curator, writer, illustrator and designer and his work was the subject of the Robin Ironside: Neo Romantic Visionary, an exhibition at the Pallant House Gallery and Grosvenor Gallery in Chester in 2012.

Exquisite and intricate, Robin Ironside’s extraordinary paintings draw upon many sources of inspiration, from Classical Antiquity and Christianity, to the German Rococo, Romantic music and poetry, and his use of hallucinogenic drugs. Completely self-taught, he saw his paintings as belonging to the imaginative tradition of British art, but he was also pre-occupied with ‘the hopes and frustrations of living’. Ironside is credited with applying the term ‘Neo-Romanticism’ to British art, and his many publications include a pioneering study of The Pre-Raphaelites. As a designer, he created decorations for the Festival of Britain, as well as sets and costumes for the opera and ballet at Covent Garden.

Visit the website dedicated to Robin Ironside, his life and his work.

My recent book Robin Ironside: Neo-Romantic Visionary (written with Peter Boughton, and Simon Martin) which accompanied the exhibition is also now available from the Pallant House Gallery Bookshop.

Reviews of Robin Ironside: Neo Romantic Visionary

The Observer – By Laura Cumming – March 11 2012
The Telegraph – By Richard Dorment – March 20 2012

Today (BBC Radio 4 2012)

Discussing my uncle, the painter Robin Ironside with art critic Brian Sewell during the exhibition Robin Ironside: Neo-Romantic Visionary