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George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows

Shining Shallows

George William Russell (AE) (1867 – 1935)

  • Artist
    George William Russell (AE)
  • Title
    Shining Shallows
  • Date
    1908
  • Dimensions
    61.5 × 40.5cm
  • Medium
    Oil on canvas
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Presented by James A Healy, 1966, (John & Catherine Healy Memorial Collection)
Description

This scene of children wading on a beach at sunset is an impressive example of Russell’s imaginative landscapes which were extremely popular when exhibited at the beginning of the 20th century. Many of his paintings were created while on holidays in Donegal or Sligo or at weekends when he had some free time from his other work as a poet, essayist and active member of the co-operative movement.

The influence of French Symbolist art which Russell would have known from collections in Ireland and England and through reproduction can be seen in the sinuous forms of the sand and the current of the tide which sweeps across the composition. The rich gold, blues and reds of the sky transform the scene from the mundane into something more timeless and significant. This exaggeration of the scene reflects Russell’s interest in spiritualism and belief in a higher reality. He has signed the painting AE in the lower right, which is derived from the word Aeon, meaning an emanation of God. Russell was an active member of Dublin’s Theosophical Society and claimed to have experienced supernatural visions.

This painting was bought from the artist by John Quinn. It is listed in a letter from Russell to Quinn of 17 October 1908 in which the artist confirms that it has been packed along with other paintings to send to New York (1). It was exhibited at the American Art Galleries in 1927 as part of the John Quinn collection where Healy may have acquired it. Healy presented the work to Sligo in 1966

(1) Marian Burleigh, George Russell (AE) The Painter of the Irish Renaissance, New York University, 1978, Ph.D.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  2. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  3. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  4. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  6. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  7. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  9. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  10. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  11. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  12. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  14. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  15. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  17. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  19. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  20. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  21. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  22. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  23. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins