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George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows

Shining Shallows

George William Russell (AE) (1867 – 1935)

  • Artist
    George William Russell (AE)
  • Title
    Shining Shallows
  • Date
    1908
  • Dimensions
    61.5 × 40.5cm
  • Medium
    Oil on canvas
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Presented by James A Healy, 1966, (John & Catherine Healy Memorial Collection)
Description

This scene of children wading on a beach at sunset is an impressive example of Russell’s imaginative landscapes which were extremely popular when exhibited at the beginning of the 20th century. Many of his paintings were created while on holidays in Donegal or Sligo or at weekends when he had some free time from his other work as a poet, essayist and active member of the co-operative movement.

The influence of French Symbolist art which Russell would have known from collections in Ireland and England and through reproduction can be seen in the sinuous forms of the sand and the current of the tide which sweeps across the composition. The rich gold, blues and reds of the sky transform the scene from the mundane into something more timeless and significant. This exaggeration of the scene reflects Russell’s interest in spiritualism and belief in a higher reality. He has signed the painting AE in the lower right, which is derived from the word Aeon, meaning an emanation of God. Russell was an active member of Dublin’s Theosophical Society and claimed to have experienced supernatural visions.

This painting was bought from the artist by John Quinn. It is listed in a letter from Russell to Quinn of 17 October 1908 in which the artist confirms that it has been packed along with other paintings to send to New York (1). It was exhibited at the American Art Galleries in 1927 as part of the John Quinn collection where Healy may have acquired it. Healy presented the work to Sligo in 1966

(1) Marian Burleigh, George Russell (AE) The Painter of the Irish Renaissance, New York University, 1978, Ph.D.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  2. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  3. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  4. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  5. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  6. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  8. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  11. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  12. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  16. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  17. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  18. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  19. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  21. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  22. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  23. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  24. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin