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. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  2. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  3. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  5. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  6. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  7. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  8. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  9. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  10. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  13. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  14. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  15. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  16. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  17. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  19. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  20. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  21. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  22. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  23. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door