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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. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  3. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  4. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  5. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  6. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  8. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  9. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  10. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  12. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  13. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  16. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  17. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  19. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  20. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  21. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  22. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang