Hans Iten
Belfast Landscape Artist and Flower Painter. Biography, Paintings.


Hans (John) Iten RUA (1874-1930)

The landscape artist and flower painter Hans Iten was born in Zurich and studied painting and drawing at the School of Art, St Gall, Switzerland. He worked for a few years in Paris, befriending the Impressionist painter Pierre Montezin (1874-1946), before taking up a post as a damask designer with a linen manufacturer in Belfast, the city which became his home until his death.

September Still Life

Iten exhibited with and was closely associated with the Belfast Art Society, being elected a vice-president in 1906. He also submitted paintings to the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) in Dublin, the first being displayed in 1908. In total, almost 50 of Iten's pictures appeared at the RHA during his lifetime. In addition he submitted successfully to the Society of French Artists and exhibited in several UK galleries such as: Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; the Fine Arts Society, London; and the Royal Academy (RA).


Known as John to his friends, Iten was hailed as the finest flower painter in Ireland during his day. In addition, he completed many landscapes, drawing inspiration from the countryside of County Antrim and County Down. He also painted a number of Swiss rural scenes. In 1930, Iten (along with Charles Lamb and Frank McKelvey and others) was among the first artists elected to the Ulster Academy of Arts. Unfortunately he died later the same year while on a visit to Switzerland. In 1971, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland staged a highly successful retrospective exhibition of Iten's works. A portrait of Iten, by Pierre Montezin, was presented to the Ulster Museum.


Hans Iten's works appear in several collections, including: County Museum, Armagh; Queen's University, Belfast; Ulster Museum, Belfast; Hugh Lane Gallery of Art, Dublin.

Most Expensive Work by Hans Iten

The auction record for a work by Hans Iten was set in 2006, when his still life oil painting, entitled Still Life, Roses, was sold at Ross's in Belfast for £35,500.

See also: Plein-Air Painting in Ireland.

More Information About Visual Arts in Ireland

• For details of other painters and sculptors from Belfast, see: Irish Artists: Paintings and Biographies.
• For more about Northern Irish flower painters like Hans Iten, see: Irish Art Guide.
• For more about still life painting, see: Homepage.

History of Irish Art
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