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Sir Martin Archer Shee
18th century portrait of Master George O'Connor of Castlenock

c.1786

$33,072.32

About

Portrait of Master George O'Connor of Castleknock, (1778-1842) wearing a white shirt trimmed with lace cuffs and collar, a red jacket with gold buttons, buff breeches, and black shoes with silver buckles, sitting sidewards on a chair. This painting dates from Shee's years of early success in Dublin and is a very rare example from this short period of working in his native land. Oil on canvas, 76 x 64cm, in a fine Georgian carved and gilded frame. Provenance: Painted circa 1786, and then by family descent until sold at Christies, 13 December 1912 (as by George Romney) for 720 guineas; Private collection, USA; Mallet, Bond Street, London Private collection since 2009. Sir Martin Archer Shee, the only Irish President of the Royal Academy, was born in Dublin on 20 December 1769, into a family originally from Kilkenny which had subsequently moved to County Mayo. He was sent to school in Dublin and there developed his talent as a draughtsman, which subsequently became his hallmark. Shee entered the Dublin Society's Drawing Schools in 1781, at the age of twelve, where under the tutelage of Francis Robert West he won virtually all the medals and prizes for which he was entered, notably the medal for landscape (1782) and portraiture (1783). At the age of 16 or 17, he set up his own studio at 32 Dame Street, Dublin, and, by 1786, was as busy as anyone with one head and two hands can possibly be .. I have pictures in hand to the amount of more than 50 guineas ..I am also to receive a silver palette from the Dublin Society in token of the approbation of my pictures. Encouraged by Gilbert Stuart, the American painter then working in Ireland, in June 1788 he moved to England, working initially as a copyist for the engravers Macklin and Boydell. He was subsequently introduced to Sir Joshua Reynolds, who advised him to join the Royal Academy Schools, to which he was admitted in November 1790, just before his 21st birthday, and by the following year he was showing the first of his very many exhibits at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions. He was admitted an Associate of the Academy in 1798 and from then onwards his career was that of the hugely successful portrait painter, especially when, after the death of Sir Thomas Lawrence in 1830, he was elected by a large majority as President of the Royal Academy; in the same year he was knighted. Shee was a member of the Society of Dilettanti, the Royal Society and several overseas cultural institutes and academies. As well as painting, he was a poet, critic, and playwright. He died at Brighton on 19th August 1850. George O'Connor was the son of the Rev. John O'Connor of Tipperary (1738-1803), who became vicar of Arboe in 1773, and Rector of Castlenock, County Dublin, in 1794. Like his father before him, George was educated at Trinity College Dublin, where he matriculated on 6 October 1794 at the age of 15, proceeding Bachelor of Arts in the Winter Term of 1799. He was received, like his father, into the ministry, and for more than thirty years was a prebendary of St. Patrick's Cathedral, also serving in succession to his father as rector of the united parishes of Castleknock and Clonsilla in the Dublin Diocese, and of Donaghpatrick in the Diocese of Meath. George died on 14th November 1842 aged sixty-four, and a memorial and bust were erected to his memory at the church in Castleknock. According to the inscription he was a fond and affectionate husband, a wise and tender parent, a tried and valued friend, excelled by none. Literature: W.G. Strickland, Dictionary of Irish Artists (Dublin and London, 1913) Volume 2, p. 343, as by Martin Archer Shee and painted in Dublin about 1786.

Details

  • Creator
    Sir Martin Archer Shee (1769 - 1850, British)
  • Creation Year
    c.1786
  • Dimensions
    Height: 29.93 in. (76 cm)Width: 25.2 in. (64 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    Bath, GB
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU9529012352

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Estimated Customs Duties & Taxes to the Continental US: $0.
    Ships From: Bath, United Kingdom
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
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Located in Bath, United Kingdom
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The British Antique Dealers' AssociationLAPADA - The Association of Arts & Antiques DealersInternational Confederation of Art and Antique Dealers' Associations
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