James Brenan (1837 – August 7, 1907) was an Irish artist.
Brenan was among the most popular painters of nineteenth-century Ireland. He travelled to London
where he studied decorative arts under Ownen Jones
and Matthew Digby Wyatt
. He became headmaster of the Cork School of Art in 1860 and began working with the Royal Hibernian Academy
a year later. Brenan was appointed headmaster of the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art in 1889. Among those he taught were Henry Jones Thaddeus
and William Orpen
. Brenan also introduced design classes to develop and advance the lace-making industry and other crafts.