17 May 2001
James Arthur O'Connor (1792-1841)
Oncoming storm; windswept trees
signed with initials and dated 'J. A. O'C. 1839' (lower right)
oil on canvas
14 x 18 1/8 in. (35.5 x 46 cm.)
Senator Brennan, by 1941.
P. A. Fitzgerald, by 1978.
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Dublin, The National Gallery of Ireland; Belfast, Ulster Museum; and Cork, The Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, James Arthur O'Connor, 1985-6 , no. 85, as Oncoming Storm; windswept trees.
James Arthur O'Connor was one of the most interesting Irish landscape painters of the the first half of the 19th Century. The son of a Dublin print seller and engraver, he seems to have been largely self taught as there is no record of him attending the Dublin Society Schools. While O'Connor's early landscapes are painted with a direct simplicity and show less an emotional response to landscape than an interest in the improvements and activities of man, his later landscapes, from the 1820s onwards, show an increasing awareness of the dramatic and awe inspiring qualities of nature, which Edmund Burke's A Philosophical Inquiry into the origin of our ideas on the Sublime and the Beautiful had done so much to inspire in Britain and Ireland. The artist who had travelled widely in England also seems to have been influenced by the imagination and intensity of the paintings of Turner and Constable.
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