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John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary

Portrait of John O'Leary

John Butler Yeats (1839 – 1922)

  • Artist
    John Butler Yeats
  • Title
    Portrait of John O'Leary
  • Date
    c. 1900
  • Dimensions
    11 × 16.5cm
  • Medium
    Pencil
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Presented by James A. Healy in New York to Sligo County Library and Museum. In memory of his parents, John and Catherine Healy, 1966.
Description

John O’Leary was a favorite subject of John Butler Yeats. The National Gallery of Ireland owns three portraits in oil of him by Yeats and there are several drawings in existence, of which the Niland Collection is one of the most striking. O’Leary was arrested in 1865 for his involvement in Fenian propaganda. He was sentenced to 20 years. He spent nine years in penal servitude in England and the rest living in exile in Paris. Upon his return to Dublin in 1885, O’Leary was a member of the Contemporary Club whose meetings Yeats also attended and this was where he first sketched the impressive bearded figure of the Fenian. O’Leary’s gentlemanly behaviour and his knowledge of nationalism and cultural matters made a great impression on John and William Butler Yeats. WB regarded O’Leary as the ideal personification of Irish patriotism to which he later referred in his opening lines of September 1913, ‘Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone, Its with O’Leary in the grave’.

The Niland Collection drawing was made in the home of Mrs. Alice Stopford Green, an historian and a passionate Irish nationalist. It is inscribed ‘John O’Leary, when dining with Mrs. Richard Green’. Stopford Green, the Irish born widow of J.R. Green, entertained significant literary and political figures at her home in Kensington Square in London, where this drawing was made. O’Leary along with Arthur Griffith and Edward Carson were regular guests. She returned to live in Ireland in 1918 and was made a senator of the Irish Free State in 1922.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  2. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  5. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  6. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  8. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  9. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  10. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  12. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  15. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  16. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  17. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  19. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  20. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  21. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  22. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  24. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn