Peter Curling


(Irish, b. 1955)

Born in Waterford in 1955 Peter showed a precocious early talent and had his first exhibition in the racing centre of Lambourn at the tender age of fourteen. Sell out exhibitions in Dublin followed and it wasn't long before he came to the attention of Aylmer Tryon, founder of the Tryon Gallery and the renowned horse portraitist Susan Crawford. They advised him to go to Florence where he spent two years studying in the studio of Signorina Simi.

This classical training stood him in good stead as he has always placed the utmost importance in sound draughtsmanship. It was to this end that he spent a short but invaluable time with the sculptor John Skeaping R.A.. Skeaping impressed on the young artist the value of economy of line and the ultimate goal of depicting movement, balance and a solidity of form without lumbering the work with too much detail.

Shortly after his return to the U.K. he decided to make a permanent move back to Ireland, his birthplace and where he had already met with a certain amount of recognition. Successful exhibitions in Ireland and London followed and in 1977 he moved to Tipperary, a famous area for producing and training horses. Here he discovered the joys of hunting and it has since become an important part of his life. He feels the close involvement with preparing horses and taking them hunting gives the artist a vital insight to their character, the way the move and the unique communication which develops between horse and rider. Added to this is a definite increased awareness of the landscape which hunting brings, with horse and rider covering large distances and seeing a wide range of countryside from a very different perspective.

Peter also developed a closer link with the racing world and has enjoyed the whole spectrum of that fascinating sport from riding in races to ownership, training point-to-pointers, and stewarding. With his wife Louise he has had success in the sale ring. Together they set up their own stud and topped the sales with a number of horses who have gone on to victory on the track. His three children, Hannah, Sam and Rebecca have all shown an interest in horses and riding and Sam is now a conditional jockey in England.

Peter's work through the eighties and early nineties found him painting a lot of horse portraits and this led to a stagnation and lack of creativity in the work produced. A conscious decision to say no to any commissions has meant that Peter has been able to enjoy painting what he wants to and has led to his exploring different areas of expression. For the last number of years he has made regular trips to Venice and has found the same fascination in that famous city that so many other artists have before. He has also spent more time painting the landscape around him in Tipperary and these smaller more intimate pieces have again proved to be very popular.

The last couple of years have seen an increased energy and output of work. His two exhibitions in London and Dublin were met with keen interest. His work has been solidly supported in the salerooms and the demand for his work continues to grow. Looking to the future Peter would like to be able to continue to paint what excites him, to enjoy the close link he has both with horses and the Irish landscape and to be able to work towards more exhibitions in the years to come.

Peter also has a lighthearted side to his art and his depictions of characters from the world of racing have proved hugely popular. Cartoons have fetched staggering prices, 2.0 million for one at a recent charity event in Ireland.


Morning Exercise
Watercolor 16.5" x 24"

Horse and Rider
Watercolor 14" x 18"

Study forMorning Exercise, Keeneland
Oil on Board 13.5" x 19.5"