Loving Companions

Augustus John (1878 – 1961)

  • Artist
    Augustus John
  • Title
    Loving Companions
  • Date
    1912
  • Dimensions
    34.75 × 45.5cm
  • Medium
    Oil on Board
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Presented by James A Healy, 1975 (Josephine C Healy Memorial Collection)
Description

The Welsh born artist, Augustus John, was considered one of the greatest artists of his generation. By the age of twenty-five he was among the most famous artists in Britain, celebrated both for his artistic talent and his bohemian lifestyle.

This painting was originally in the collection of the Irish-American art patron John Quinn. Quinn’s first introduction to John was through W.B. Yeats. In 1907, during a visit to Ireland with his friend William Orpen, John stayed with Lady Gregory at Coole Park. While at Coole, he drew a portrait of Yeats for the frontispiece to a collected edition of his poems (1). Quinn bought the drawing and soon became one of John’s greatest patrons, eventually amassing a collection of over seventy of his works. On John’s advice Quinn became interested in more avant-garde European art and also began to collect the work of his reclusive sister Gwen John. Around 1912, tensions between the two men began to surface and Quinn soon switched his attentions to more modernist artists including Picasso and Brancusi.

Although the bearded figure in this painting resembles John, the date of 1912, when he would have been only thirty-four, suggests that this is a portrait of a much older man.

1. John Quinn letter to W.B. Yeats, December 8, 1907, The Letters of John Quinn to William Butler Yeats, ed. Alan Himber, Epping, Essex, 1983, p.93.

Written by Riann Coulter

Browse the Collection

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  1. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  2. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  3. Norah McGuinness (1903 - 1980) - Hanrahan’s Vision (Illustrations for The Stories of Red Hanrahan)
  4. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  5. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  6. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  8. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  11. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  16. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  17. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  18. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  21. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  22. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  23. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door