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Roderic O'Connor Irish Art History Section: Courtesy of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (P.D.S.T.)

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Presentation on theme: "Roderic O'Connor Irish Art History Section: Courtesy of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (P.D.S.T.)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Roderic O'Connor Irish Art History Section: Courtesy of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (P.D.S.T.)

2 Roderic O'Connor: Born in 1860 at Milton in County Roscommon, he entered the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin in O'Connor's early training followed the recognized academic system, both at the Metropolitan School and at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) where he studied for one year. Like many Irish students, O'Connor moved from Dublin to Antwerp and then to Paris. He began to paint landscapes in bold, 'impressionistic' manner, some which are close to Pissarro, and others reminiscent of Sisley. He has been called, variously, a 'little known member of the Pont-Aven school', and 'Irish Expressionist', and a 'Fauve', a 'master of colour', and a 'painter in stripes'. O'Connor spent longer in France than any other Irish painter, and is one of the most interesting of Irish artists there as he became completely integrated with French painters. In some of his 1890's paintings he anticipated trends such as Fauvism and Expressionism, which later became movements or styles. Unlike his Irish contemporaries, he belongs to the sunny 'Post-Impressionist' world of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In Irish art he is unique, as a great colourist. His paintings are characterized by his combinations of reds and greens, and all the various shades of red, (pinks and lilacs, oranges and maroons, and so on). His "stripe' technique gave his work an identifiable stamp in the 1890's, but overall it is this use of hot colours and colour combinations, in grounds and impastos, that expresses his powerful yet self-doubting temperament, and gives his work its recognizable individuality. Irish Art History Section: Courtesy of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (P.D.S.T.)

3 The Breton girl, with her bold stare and blunt features, seems to be the same model as the girl in the canvas which the artist presented to the Municipal Gallery in Dublin in There, her pose is frontal and she stares at us with a blunt, almost expressionless gaze. Here her head is slightly tilted to one side and raised, but she looks at us with similar honesty or suspicion. In both portraits OConnor contrasts complementary reds and greens in long stripes running down the girl's check and neck, in her hair and white bonnet and heightened in an Expressionist way in the background. But OConnors 'Modernism' belies the sound academic drawing and modelling of the face, the skilful observation of reflected light and shadow in the girl's chin and neck, and the 'Dutch' whiteness of the broad collar. Irish Art History Section: Courtesy of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (P.D.S.T.)

4 The farm at Lezaven had served as an artists' studio for some years before 1894 when O'Connor painted it. Strident and very expressive strokes of the brush, combined with vibrant contrasting colours, reveal the influence of van Gogh. The colour combinations of reds and greens, pinks, violets and maroons, are increasingly characteristic of O'Connor's paintings. The brushstrokes are smaller and thinner.. Here O'Connor captures the wealth, rather than the burning intensity of summer. Through the trees we glimpse the sunlit farmhouse and glowing sky. But there is also a sense of pattern, in the uprights of trees and the horizontal layers of flowers and fields, areas of light and shadow, and in the overall surface texture of brushstrokes. These changes may have come about through O'Connor's contact with Gauguin who had a studio at Lezaven at the time. Irish Art History Section: Courtesy of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (P.D.S.T.)

5 The farm at Lezaven

6 The interior of O'Connor's studio in Paris was full of still-life objects. On one occasion he painted, in a riot of colour, a girl fascinated by a book, totally ignoring her surroundings. This could hardly be described as a portrait; O'Connor's technique is loose and is not interested in details. Irish Art History Section: Courtesy of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (P.D.S.T.)

7 After his last trip to Brittany in 1904, O Conor remained in Paris for the following eight years. A brief reconnaissance trip to the Bay of Cassis is recorded late in 1912 and this experience had an immediate effect upon his work. Almost in anticipation of the glowing hues which he would encounter on his second, longer, visit in the summer of 1913, O'Connor's studio-pieces took on an intensity of colour and a weight of impasto which conveys the full richness of his mature work. Leftover notes of extra colour, reflections of green in the flesh tints and the dappled green and mauve backdrop serve to remind us that this is the work of one of the original Post-Impressionists but with a personal touch. Irish Art History Section: Courtesy of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (P.D.S.T.)

8 When O Connor left Brittany and moved back to Paris, his subject matter also changed. He turned from landscapes to interiors and nudes, still lifes and flower pieces. The form of the girl, viewed from behind, is a harmony of soft reds, pinks and violets, is gently modeled under dim studio light and is reflected in a mirror (perhaps a tribute to the Spanish painter Velasquez's "Venus at her Mirror Roderic O'Conor ( ) Oil on canvas, 53.3 x 73.7 cm Irish Art History Section: Courtesy of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (P.D.S.T.)

9 Boulevard Raspail, 1907 An "Expressionist' night scene, painted in 1907 after O'Connor returned to live in Paris. Montparnasse was one of the artists' quarters in Paris and it was here that O'Connor had his studio, not far from the Boulevard Raspail. Cityscapes and night scenes are unusual in his work and have a dark, uneasy note not present in his landscapes. Irish Art History Section: Courtesy of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (P.D.S.T.)

10 Professional Development Service for Teachers The PDST is funded by the Department of Education and Skills under the National Development Plan Irish Art History Section: Courtesy of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (P.D.S.T.) Cultural & Environmental Education National Co-ordinator Mr. Conor Harrison Special thanks to Tony Morrissey for researching and compiling the information, images and video for this Power Point :

11 References / External Links: The following websites were accessed in the making of this Power Point: &sort=default&tabview=bio Irish Art History Section: Courtesy of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (P.D.S.T.)


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