The Lake of the Tears of the Sorrowing Women

Paul Henry RHA (1876 – 1958)

  • Artist
    Paul Henry RHA
  • Title
    The Lake of the Tears of the Sorrowing Women
  • Date
    1916
  • Dimensions
    61 × 51cm
  • Medium
    Oil on canvas
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Presented by James A. Healy in 1975 (Josephine C. Healy Memorial Collection)
Description

This painting can be dated to 1916–17 when the Henrys were living on Achill. The enigmatic title is believed to have been suggested by Johnny Tom Owen MacNamara, a carpenter who had worked in Chicago, New York and London before returning home to Achill where he befriended Henry and often took him on fishing trips.

The palette and atmosphere of this painting suggests the influence of the American born, avant garde painter James McNeill Whistler. In Paris, Henry had studied at the Académie Carmen which was established by Whistler in 1898. Although Whistler only taught there sporadically, he implemented a strict regime for the students dominated by his aesthetic and technical ideas. As this painting suggests, Henry was greatly influenced by Whistler’s approach, in particular his belief that the subject of a work of art ‘should be presented in a simple manner, without an attempt to obtain a thousand changes of colour that there are in reality’.

This painting was included in Henry’s exhibition at the Hackett Gallery, New York in March 1930. It failed to sell but remained in New York, where it was later purchased from the artist by his friend and patron, James A. Healy in 1933.

Written by Riann Coulter

Browse the Collection

Browse by: Image / List

  1. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  2. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  5. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  6. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  7. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  9. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  11. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  12. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  13. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  14. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  16. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  17. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  18. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  19. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  20. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  21. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  23. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland