Robert Henri in Ireland

19 Nov

Robert Henri, O’Malley Home, Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland (1913)

In around 1909 Robert Henri met John Butler Yeats, the father of William Butler Yeats, who was in New York promoting his son’s poetry.  The two became friends.  Henri painted Yeats’s portrait (below) and even lent him the use of his studio for a poetry reading.  Yeats was insistent that Henri come to Ireland to paint its land and people.  In 1913 Henri and his wife made the trip, settling into a cottage on Achill Island, County Mayo.

Henri loved Ireland and throughout 1913 he painted many evocative landscapes and portraits from his home base on Achill Island.  A sampling is included here.  Henri and his wife were childless but loved children, and in Ireland Henri painted some of his most highly regarded portraits, mostly depicting the boys and girls who came to sit for him.  Reportedly Mrs. Henri served peanut butter and jam sandwiches to attract Henri’s young subjects.  Henri’s landscapes are likewise superb in their depiction of the rugged Irish countryside and are classed among his finest.

Robert Henri, Portrait of John Butler Yeats (1909)

Robert Henri, Portrait of Catherine O’Malley (1913)

Robert Henri, Portrait of Mary Lavelle (1913)

Robert Henri, Portrait of Annie Lavelle (1913)

Robert Henri, Achill Girl, Mary O’Donnel (1913)

Robert Henri, Irish Girl, Mary O’Donnel (1913)

Robert Henri, Smiling Tom (1913)

Robert Henri, Portrait of Birdeen McNamara (1913)

Robert Henri, Irish Landscape (1913)

Robert Henri, Irish Cottage (Date Unknown)

Robert Henri, Corrymore (1913)

2 Responses to “Robert Henri in Ireland”

  1. bobbalouie August 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    Yes! By the way I love your gallery’s focus — this is my favorite strain of American art (in case it isn’t already obvious!). Thank you for posting!


  1. Legends of American Realism: The Ashcan School | The Brigham Galleries - August 21, 2012

    […] the Ash Can” inspired the name given to the group. – Robert Henri, “Corrymore”. Photo Source – George Luks, “Allen Stret”. Photo Source – The artists of this School wanted […]

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