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. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  4. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  5. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  6. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  7. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  8. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  10. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  12. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  13. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  14. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  15. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  16. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  18. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  19. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  22. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  24. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion