Born in 1911 in Limerick, Fergus O'Ryan was one of the major Irish artists of the 20th century. After studying at the Limerick School of Art he moved to Dublin where he attended the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. In 1938 he first exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy and kept exhibiting there nearly every year until 1984, becaming a full RHA member in 1960. O'Ryan's work is firmly rooted in Ireland, depicting its wild landscapes as well as its busy urban scenes and industrial settings. His style varies from impressionistic strokes to highly-finished details. Particularly noteworthy is his ability to evoke the transparency and reflective qualities of water using it as a feature of the foreground.