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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. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  2. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  3. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  4. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  5. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  9. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  10. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  11. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  12. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  13. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  14. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  17. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  18. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  21. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  23. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  24. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill