Old Kitty by Sean Keating (1889-1977)

Date: N.D.
Dimensions: 74 × 62cm
Medium: Oil on canvas
Collection: Niland Collection
Provenance: Presented by James A. Healy in 1975 (Josephine C. Healy Memorial Collection)


Dublin gallery owner Victor Waddington showed Keating’s work from 1925 until 1957. In 1928 possibly because Keating’s work was selling well, Waddington commissioned from the artist two paintings featuring west of Ireland types. The first of these was ‘Old Kitty’ and the other was ‘The Turf Buyer’ (1928).

Keating was evidently pleased with Old Kitty and he returned to the theme again. He made a pastel study of old Kitty in 1930 in which he removed ll other visual elements and concentrated on her features. The drawing was shown by Victor Waddington at the Dublin Horse Show in 1931 and in the RHA the same year. (O’ Connor, E (2009). Sean Keating: In Focus. Limerick: Hunt Museum.)

Written by Riann Coulter


About the Artist

Sean Keating PRHA (1889 -1977)

Born 1889, Limerick, Ireland. Died 1977, Dublin, Ireland. Limerick native, Sean Keating is one of Irelands best known twentieth century artists. Keating was a traditionalist whose style was marked with a directness and precision. His fine draughtsmanship can be seen in his many paintings of Irish people. Keating studied at the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin, under the distinguished artist and teacher Sir William Orpen. Upon graduation, he spent four years living in the Aran Islands, where, he said, he found the Ireland he could paint. Keating first exhibited at the R.H.A. in 1914 and then showed there every year for sixty-one years. He spent twenty years as professor of painting at the National College of Art in Dublin, where he taught many up and coming artists such as Maurice McGonigal and Charles Lamb.

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