Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
George William Russell (AE) (1867 – 1935)
ArtistGeorge William Russell (AE)
TitlePortrait of Kitsy Franklin
Dimensions54.75 × 39.5cm
MediumOil on canvas
Kitsy Franklin was the youngest child of Victoria Franklin, the sister of Jennie and Susan Mitchell whose portraits are in the Niland Collection. The Mitchells and the Franklins had strong connections with Sligo. Victoria attended school there with Jack B. Yeats and she married Harry Franklin in the town in 1899.
Kitsy was a brilliant musician and a favourite niece of Susan Mitchell. She shared her aunt’s delicate health but is shown in the full bloom of youthful splendour in AE’s portrait. AE was a life-long friend and colleague of Susan’s. They worked together on the Irish Homestead and in the 1920s on the Irish Statesman. He would have known and heard of Kitsy throughout her childhood and early womanhood. Her youth and beauty are emphasized through the simple white dress that she wears and the natural, informal manner of her hairstyle, where the blue ribbon has come undone. The portrait also hints at the spontaneity and energy of the sitter and by extension her creativity and imagination.
Written by Roisin Kennedy