Woman in Riding Habit by Estella Solomons (1882-1968)

Woman in Riding Habit

Date: N.D.
Dimensions: 51 × 91.5cm
Medium: Oil on canvas
Provenance: Bequest of Ms K Goodfellow, 1980

Born into a Dublin Jewish family, Estella Solomons studied under William Orpen at the Metropolitan School of Art, with Walter Osborne at the Royal Hibernian Schools and at the Chelsea School of Art. After periods in Paris and Amsterdam she returned to Dublin and set up a studio on Great Brunswick Street (now Pearse Street) that soon became a meeting place for artists, writers and politicians including her friends George Russell, Francis Beckett and Dorothy and Beatrice Elvery.

Solomons was a sensitive portraitist and an accomplished etcher and landscape painter who often took Dublin, Donegal and Kerry as her subjects. She produced images of many of her artistic circle including Russell, A.J. Levanthal, James Stephens and Jack B. Yeats as well as public figures such as Arthur Griffith and Horace Plunkett. A committed nationalist and member of Cumann na mBan, she is also believed to have produced portraits of fugitives of the Rising and Civil War whom she sheltered in her city centre studio.

The subject of this portrait is not known but the riding paraphernalia suggests the influence of Orpen’s much more elaborate portrait Gardenia St. George with Riding Crop.

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