1895 - 1974
Francis McKelvey was born in Belfast, on 3rd of June 1895. His father was William McKelvey, painter and decorator.
He studied at the Belfast School of Art where he had a distinguished career, winning a prize almost every year he was there. As a student he admired the landscape painters Constable, Richard Wilson, Corot and Harpignies, as well as the Pre-Raphaelites.
McKelvey was considered one of the most successful Irish landscape painters of the time. He was gifted both with a superb technical fluency and an inquisitive mind so that painting to him represented a sense of discovery which, notwithstanding the often repetitive nature of some of his lanscapes, imbued his work with a constant freshness.
McKelvey was versatile in his range of subject and use of medium. He also had a sharp eye and could, with apparent ease, penetrate the essentials of his subject and set it down with a matching exactitude. On a more critical level, however, it is reasonable to say that as a young man, having once determined his view of the landscape and his means of dealing with it, McKelvey subsequently varied his style and technique only slightly.