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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. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  3. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  5. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  6. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  7. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  11. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  12. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  14. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  15. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  16. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  18. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  20. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  22. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  23. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day