Tributes have been paid to Limerick painter Jack Donovan, who has died aged 80.

Mr Donovan was one of Ireland’s best known contemporary artists.

Born in 1934, he began studying art in 1951 at the Limerick School of Art, an institution with which he was to have a lifelong association.

He went on to become head of the school in 1962, a role he continued until 1972.

During that time he taught other acclaimed Irish artists among them John Shinnors, Brian McMahon and Henry Morgan.

Dr Maria Hinfelaar, President of LIT, of which the Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) is a constituent college, said Mr Donovan was so many great things rolled into one; a husband, father, a great friend, a gifted artist, a wonderful character, teacher, mentor and inspiration to countless other artists.

She said he had an indelible link to LSAD, and during his time there taught some of Ireland's finest artists, many of whom have made an international name for themselves.

His work was featured in the 'Personal Choice' exhibition brought together by Mr Shinnors, which was exhibited at the college at Easter as part of the City of Culture year.

Dr Hinfelaar said he leaves a rich and lasting legacy that will be followed in years and decades ahead.

Mike Fitzpatrick, Director of Limerick City of Culture and current head of LSAD, said Mr Donovan was "a very unique figure in the art world, making bold and adventurous work during a conservative period of Irish history".

Mr Fitzpatrick added that Mr Donovan's passing will be deeply mourned both by his family and by the arts community in Limerick.

Mr Donovan is survived by his wife Eileen and family.