Mildred Anne Butler (1858-1941)
The Lilac Phlox, Kilmurry, Co. Kilkenny, 1912
Watercolour on paper, 36.1 x 54 cm
Mildred Anne Butler was born at Kilmurry, near Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, and spent most of her life living and painting in this tranquil and picturesque area. During the year 1885, she travelled widely in Europe. Later she studied briefly under William Calderon, an animal painter, and also at the painters’ colony in Newlyn, Cornwall. She was introduced to plein-air painting by the Limerick-born artist Norman Garstin (1847-1926). The artist began exhibiting her work in London and in Ireland in the 1890s and was elected an associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1896, becoming a member in 1937. Her subject matter is drawn from the countryside and is evocative of the quiet harmony of her surroundings in Kilkenny.