Roderic O'Conor


Artist Biography:

Roderick O'Connor was born 17 October 1860 in Milltown, Co. Roscommon. An heir to a large family estate, he was initially educated at home and later at Ampleforth College near York in England. At 18 he enrolled at Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin and later also studied at the Royal Hibernian Academy. Among those Irish artists who could afford to, it was not unusual at the time to continue their artistic education on the continent. His destination was Academe Royale des Beaux-Arts at Antwerp from where they beat their path to Paris and further afield. As his life on the continent took root, first in Paris, then at Grez (an artists' colony near Fontenblou) and at Pont Aven on the Brittany coast, his visits back home became less frequent. He moved back to Paris at the beginning of 1904, where, although described as both a cynic and a loner, he set up a live-in studio in Montparnasse and mixed liberally in Anglo-American circles. In 1916 he began a relationship with Renée Honta, 34 years his junior, whom he married years later in 1933. He continued living in Montparnasse, and apart from an ill-timed trip to Spain in the winter of 1934, he seems to have stopped painting during the last years of his life. He died in France in March 1940.

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