• 29 January 2008

Tribute to Lydia

The late Lydia de Burgh, who died on 18th December 2007
The late Lydia de Burgh, who died on 18th December 2007
Lydia de Burgh was the first resident Irish artist commissioned to paint Her Majesty the Queen.  At the age of 84 Lydia died on 18th December 2007.  Bishop Harold was invited tp take part in a private family funeral service at Roselawn before Christmas and in the New Year a memorial service was held for her at Loughinisland Parish Church.  Lydia's cousin, musican and songwriter Chris de Burgh, sang at the memorial service.

Born in London in 1923 Lydia de Burgh was the daughter of Captain Charles de Burgh and Isabel Campbell Killyman.  The impressive de Burgh family lineage stretches back to Emperor Charlemagne, and the family's role in Irish affairs has impacted on Irish history.  After her father's retirement from a noteable Admiralty career the family retired to Seaforde, and in later life Lydia lived in Clough.  Her sister Coralie, also a distinguished painter, lives at Castle Upton, Templepatrick.

In 1955 Lydia was commissioned by the Argyll and Sutherland Highlands to paint Her Majesty the Queen.  In 1981 Lydia also painted a portrait of the late Princess Diana, based on a photograph by Lord Snowdon.  She also had a personal sitting with the late Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester.

Lydia had a great love of the old masters, and they greatly influenced her work.  She studied art privately with Sonia Mervyn in London and also at the Bryan Shaw School of Art.  During her career Lydia lectured worldwide and her last Royal Ulster Academy of Arts solo exhibition was in November 2003.  She was also a renowned wildlife artist and also the author of two books: Lydia's Story (1991) and Another Way of Life (1999).