Henry Jones Thaddeus

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Le retour du braconnier ("The Wounded Poacher"), 1881 - Oil on canvas - reappeared in the 1984 "Irish Impressionists" exhibition and was purchased by the National Gallery of Ireland

Henry Jones Thaddeus (1859 – 1929) was a realist and portrait painter born and trained in County Cork, Ireland.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Born Henry Thaddeus Jones in 1859,[2] he entered the Cork School of Art when he was ten years old.[3] There he studied under the genre painter James Brenan. Thaddeus won the Taylor Prize in 1878 enabling him to go to London,[4] and then again in 1879 enabling him to continue his studies in Paris at the Académie Julian. His first major painting (illustration, right) was hung "on the line" (at eye-level) at the Paris Salon of 1881.[5]

He received commissions to paint portraits, among them two papal portrait commissions (for Pope Pius X), and became a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society. He received several other portrait commissions.

In his latter years he settled in the Isle of Wight, and died there at Ryde, on 1 May 1929.

His autobiography was titled Recollections of a Court Painter, which he wrote during his retirement in California.

Renewed interest[edit]

Art historian Julian Campbell became interested in Jones, and other mid-to-late-century Irish artists, and assembled the Irish Impressionists exhibition in 1984 at the National Gallery of Ireland. However, many of the artists exhibited, like Thaddeus, were not strictly Impressionists.

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "Henry Thaddeus - a portrait artist to watch". Irish Times. 24 July 1999. 
  2. ^ Rooney, Brendan (2003). The Life and Work of Harry Jones Thaddeus, 1859-1929. Four Courts Press. ISBN 9781851826926. 
  3. ^ Thaddeus, Henry Jones (1912). Recollections of a court painter. John Lane. 
  4. ^ "Henry Jones Thaddeus". The Oriel Gallery. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Julian Campbell (1984). "Jour de Marche, Finistere (Work by H. Jones Thaddeus)" (PDF). Irish Arts Review.