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

Browse by: Image / List

  1. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  2. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  3. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  4. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  6. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  9. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  10. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  11. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  12. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  13. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  14. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  15. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  16. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  17. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  19. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  21. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  24. Sean McSweeney - The Road