Loving Companions

Augustus John (1878 – 1961)

  • Artist
    Augustus John
  • Title
    Loving Companions
  • Date
    1912
  • Dimensions
    34.75 × 45.5cm
  • Medium
    Oil on Board
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Presented by James A Healy, 1975 (Josephine C Healy Memorial Collection)
Description

The Welsh born artist, Augustus John, was considered one of the greatest artists of his generation. By the age of twenty-five he was among the most famous artists in Britain, celebrated both for his artistic talent and his bohemian lifestyle.

This painting was originally in the collection of the Irish-American art patron John Quinn. Quinn’s first introduction to John was through W.B. Yeats. In 1907, during a visit to Ireland with his friend William Orpen, John stayed with Lady Gregory at Coole Park. While at Coole, he drew a portrait of Yeats for the frontispiece to a collected edition of his poems (1). Quinn bought the drawing and soon became one of John’s greatest patrons, eventually amassing a collection of over seventy of his works. On John’s advice Quinn became interested in more avant-garde European art and also began to collect the work of his reclusive sister Gwen John. Around 1912, tensions between the two men began to surface and Quinn soon switched his attentions to more modernist artists including Picasso and Brancusi.

Although the bearded figure in this painting resembles John, the date of 1912, when he would have been only thirty-four, suggests that this is a portrait of a much older man.

1. John Quinn letter to W.B. Yeats, December 8, 1907, The Letters of John Quinn to William Butler Yeats, ed. Alan Himber, Epping, Essex, 1983, p.93.

Written by Riann Coulter

Browse the Collection

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  1. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  3. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  4. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  5. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  6. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  7. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  8. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  9. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  11. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  13. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  14. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  17. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  20. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  21. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  22. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  23. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’