From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913
Was born at 5 Castlewood Avenue, Rathmines, on 17th June, 1859. He was the second son of William Osborne, R.H.A., the animal painter, and Anne Jane Woods his wife. He was baptized in Rathmines church on 11th September, receiving the names of Walter Frederick; but in his early years he seems to have been known as "Frederick." In the catalogues of the Hibernian Academy exhibitions he appears as "Frederick" or "Frederick W.," down to 1884, and his early works are so signed; but from 1885 his name appears as "Walter F." He received his education in Mr. C. W. Benson's school in Rathmines Road, and his first training in art in the Royal Hibernian Academy, which he entered as a student in 1876. There he won a silver medal in 1877, the Albert Prize in 1880 with his "Glade in the Phoenix Park." He also won the Taylor Scholarship in 1881 and 1882, and then went to Antwerp, where he studied for two years under Verlat. He had begun to exhibit in the Hibernian Academy in 1877, sending in that and succeeding years small pictures and drawings of figures, landscapes and animals. On his return home in 1883 he exhibited thirteen works, mostly sketches in Bruges and Antwerp.
For several years he spent his summers in the rural parts of England: in Sussex, Berkshire, Norfolk and elsewhere, painting in oil and in water-colour country and village life and scenery; and he also painted in Brittany. Each year the results of his tours were seen on the walls of the Hibernian Academy, and his pictures and drawings painted with delicacy and truth became widely popular, and his portrayal of street life in Dublin increased his reputation. In 1895 he made a tour in Spain, and next year visited Holland. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Hibernian Academy on the 19th February, 1883, and a Member on 18th October, 1886. He began to exhibit portraits in 1891, and thenceforth devoted himself chiefly to that branch of art, though few exhibitions were without some beautifully painted landscape or figure subjects from his brush. Up to 1895 he had worked in his house in Castlewood Avenue, but in that year he took a large studio at No. 7 St. Stephen's Green. During the last ten years of his life he was much sought after as a portrait painter. Among his numerous portraits are those of Lord Houghton, Serjeant Jellett, Lord Powerscourt, Sir Frederick Falkiner, Sir Hugh McCalmont and Sir Walter Armstrong. He exhibited in the Royal Academy from 1886 to 1903, and his pictures were nearly always shown on the line. His pastel drawing, "Life in the Streets, hard times," exhibited in 1892, was purchased by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest. In 1900 he was offered Knighthood by the Lord Lieutenant, Earl Cadogan, in recognition of his services to art and his distinction as a painter, but declined the honour.
Osborne was equally successful in portraiture, landscape, subjects and animals, and worked with equal facility in oil, water-colour, pastel and pencil. Of engaging personality, he was held in affectionate regard by all his friends as a delightful companion and a true artist. He died at his residence in Castlewood Avenue on the 24th April, 1903, of pneumonia, and was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery. After his death an exhibition of his pictures and drawings was held in the Royal Hibernian Academy. Two hundred and sixty-nine works were shown, illustrating all the phases of his art.
In the National Gallery of Ireland is his portrait, painted by himself, as well as a small portrait in pencil done by Nathaniel Hill, R.H.A., his fellow-pupil in Antwerp.
Osborne's works include the following:
Portrait of Himself. [National Gallery of Ireland.] Painted in 1894.
James, 2nd Duke of Abercorn. [Masonic Hall, Molesworth Street.] Left unfinished at the artist's death and completed by Miss Sarah Purser.
William Alexander, Archbp. of Armagh. [The Palace, Armagh.] Painted in 1901.
Sir Walter Armstrong, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland. R.A., 1896. [Sir Walter Armstrong.]
Lady Armstrong. R.A., 1897.
Lord Ashbourne. R.A., 1899.
Rt. Hon. John T. Ball. [King's Inns.]
Arthur Stewart Bellingham and his dog Dick. [Mrs. Bellingham, Howth.] R.H.A., 1898.
Mrs. Birdwood. [J. A. French.] Painted in 1894.
George Brooke, Irish Guards. [Sir George F. Brooke, Bart., Gardiner's Row.]
Mrs., afterwards Lady, Brooke and child. [Sir George F. Brooke, Bart.] Painted in 1895.
Hon. Mrs. Campbell. Painted in 1895.
Mrs. Thomas H. Carson.
Mrs. Chaytor. Painted in 1896.
Anthony H. Corley, M.D. R.H.A., 1889.
Lord Crewe.—See Lord Houghton.
Miss Stella Darley. R.H.A., 1892.
Dr. Maurice Fitzgerald Day, Bishop of Cashel. [Diocese of Cashel.] R.H.A., 1898.
Edward Dowden, LL.D. [Mrs. Dowden, Rathgar.] R.H.A., 1891.
Sir Thomas Drew, architect. [W. Booth Pearsall, 97 Finchley Road, London.] R.H.A., 1892.
Daisy and Irene Falkiner. R.A., 1900.
Mrs. C. Litton Falkiner. R.A., 1902; R.H.A., 1893.
Sir Frederick Falkiner, Recorder of Dublin. [National Gallery of Ireland; deposited by the family.] R.A., 1903.
Gerald Fitzgibbon, Lord Justice of Appeal. R.H.A., 1894 and 1895.
Gerard Charles Wm. Forrest. [Mrs. Forrest, Winchester, 1903.] Painted in 1900.
Edward Fottrell. [Stephen's Green Club.]
Mrs. Noel Guinness and daughter. [Noel Guinness, Howth.] R.A., 1898; R.H.A., 1899.
Stephen Gwynn. [Mrs. Gwynn.]
John Hatchell, D.L. [L. Perrin Hatchell, Fortfield, Terenure.] R.H.A., 1899.
Mrs. Chadwick-Healey and daughter. R.A., 1900; R.H.A., 1902.
Lady Lucy Hicks-Beach. R.A., 1903.
Nathaniel Hone, R.H.A. [N. Hone, St. Doulough's.]
Mrs. Thomas Hone. R.A., 1897.
Robert, Lord Houghton, afterwards Earl of Crewe, Lord Lieutenant. [Earl of Crewe.] R.A., 1888. A replica in Dublin Castle.
John Hughes, R.H.A. Water-colour sketch, [National Gallery of Ireland.]
Sir Malcolm Inglis. R.H.A., 1902.
Mrs. Andrew Jameson and her daughter Violet. [Andrew Jameson, Howth.] R.A., 1896.
Hewitt Poole jellett, Q.C. [King's Inns.] A copy by Miss Eva Hamilton, done in 1911, belongs to M. Barrington Jellett, Clonard, Dundrum.
General Sir Hugh McCalmont. [Sir Hugh McCalmont.] Painted in 1895. R.H.A., 1896.
J. B. S. McIlwaine, R.H.A. [J. B. S. McIlwaine, Stanford House, Foxrock.]
Mrs. McNeile. Painted in 1895. R.A., 1896.
Rev. J. P. Mahaffy, D.D., C.V.O. [Rev. J. P. Mahaffy.] R.A., 1900.
Mrs. Martin. Painted in 1888.
Mrs. Meade. [Mrs. Meade-Coffey.] R.A., 1899; R.H.A., 1900.
Sir Thomas Moffet, President of Queen's College, Galway. [National Gallery of Ireland.] Painted in 1896. R.H.A., 1897.
Hugh Stewart Moore. [Incorporated Law Society of Ireland.] R.H.A., 1901.
Lt.-Colonel Maurice Moore, Connaught Rangers. R.H.A., 1903.
Mrs. John Mulhall. [John Mulhall, 14 Earlsfort Terrace.] R.A., 1896.
Sir James Musgrave. Presentation Picture from the Harbour Commissioners, Belfast, 1898.
"Miss Mollie,"—a daughter of Sir John G. Nutting, Bart. [Sir John G. Nutting, Bart., St. Helens, Booterstown.] R.H.A., 1893.
Frederick Niven. [Royal Bank, Foster Place.]
Miss Honor O'Brien. [Rev. Lucius O'Brien.] R.A., 1898; R.H.A., 1899.
Miss Nelly O'Brien. R.A., 1893.
Rev. C. E. Osborne. R.H.A., 1900.
Rev. C. E. Osborne. R.A., 1902.
William Osborne, R.H.A. A sketch. R.H.A., 1888.
William Osborne, R.H.A. [Council Room of R.H.A., Abbey Street.] R.A., 1897; R.H.A., 1898.
Master Charles Pearsall. Painted in 1888.
Lord Plunket, Archbp. of Dublin. [The Palace, Stephen's Green.]
Andrew Marshall Porter. [Sir A. M. Porter, Bart.]
Mervyn, 7th Viscount Powerscourt, K.P. [Viscount Powerscourt.] R.A., 1901.
Robert Reeves. [Mrs. Reeves.]
Sir Andrew Reid, K.C.B. R.H.A., 1901. [Officer's Mess, R.I. Constabulary Depot, Phoenix Park.]
Master J. W. Scharff. [Dr. Scharff.]
Archdeacon Scott. Painted in 1902. R.H.A., 1904.
Canon R. Travers Smith. [The Vicarage, Clyde Road.] Painted in 1901. R.H.A., 1902.
Dr. Stack. [Mrs. Stack, 1903.]
Mrs. Bram Stoker. Painted 1894. R.A., 1895; R.H.A., 1896.
Abraham Stoker. Posthumous portrait; painted 1894. [Noel Stoker, London.] R.H.A., 1895.
Mrs. Abraham Stoker. R.A., 1894. [Noel Stoker, London.]
Sir W. Thornley Stoker. [Noel Stoker, London.]
Lady Stoker. Painted 1894. R.H.A., 1896. [Noel Stoker, London.]
Lady Thompson. Sketch.
Miss Gladys Thompson. [Mrs. Hornibrook, Abbeyleix.] R.A., 1901.
Miss Deena Tyrrell. [Professor Tyrrell.] R.A., 1903.
Miss E. Webb. [Miss Webb.] Painted in 1895.
Mrs. Wybrants. Painted in 1891.
Mrs. Waldron. Painted in 1895-6.
A Glade in the Phoenix Park. R.H.A., 1880. Won the Albert Prize.
Near St. Patrick's Close; an old Dublin Street. R.A., 1887; R.H.A., 1888.
Tired Out, R.A., 1886.
The Ferry. R.H.A., 1891.
Milking Time. R.H.A., 1894.
Milking Time. R.H.A., 1903.
When the Boats come in. R.H.A., 1894.
The Thorn Bush. [Rev. Canon Harris, Rathmines.] Painted at Foxrock in 1893. R.A., 1894; R.H.A., 1895.
In a Free Library. R.H.A., 1899.
A Man who has seen a Leprachaun. R.A., 1899; R.H.A., 1900; Oldham, 1901.
Life in the Streets; hard times. Pastel. [National Gallery of British Art.] R.A., 1892. Purchased by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest.
A Summer Night. R.H.A., 1900.
A Children's Party. R.H.A., 1901.
The Lustre Jug. [National Gallery of Ireland.] R.H.A., 1902.
The Fish Market, Patrick Street. [Sir Hugh P. Lane.]
Mother and child. [Sir Hugh P. Lane.]
On the Sands. [W. P. Geoghegan, Blackrock.]
On the Sands, Evening. [George Jameson.]
The Fish Market, Galway. Painted in 1893.
When the Boats come in. Ex. Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1895.
Galway Fishwives. Ex. Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1895.
Snow. Water-colour. [Earl of Crewe.] R.H.A., 1895.
The Eve of the Fair. [J. Joly, F.R.S.]
An October Morning. [Guildhall, London.] "Presented by a community of artists as a memorial of the esteem and regard in which the late Walter Osborne was held by them."
Moonlight. [Andrew Jameson, Howth.]
Summer Sunshine. [Preston Gallery.]
Two Pomeranian Dogs. [Miss Webb.]
A Galway Cottage. Oil sketch. [National Gallery of Ireland.]
The Doll's School. Water-colour. [National Gallery of Ireland.]
The House Builders. Water-colour. [National Gallery of Ireland.]
Rye Harbour. Indian ink wash. [National Gallery of Ireland.]
Twelve Sketches and studies in pencil. [National Gallery of Ireland.]
On the Berkshire Downs. [Sir George F. Brooke, Bart.]
A Railway Station. [Rt. Hon. Jonathan Hogg.]
A Garden. [National Gallery of Ireland.]
Village Street, Lusk. [Sir George F. Brooke, Bart.]
Idle Shepherds. Sold at Liverpool Ex., 1890.
Dublin Streets. Sold at Liverpool Ex., 1890.
Evening Light. Sold to Mr. Bewley, 1890.
The Ferry. R.A., 1890.
Lilies. Painted at Uffington in 1888.
A Touch of Winter. Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1894.
A Warm Thoroughfare. Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1894.
St. Stephen's Green.
A Boy and a Dog. [Nathaniel Hone, R.H.A., St. Doulough's Park, Raheny, Co. Dublin.]
Truelove's Journal: A Bookshop Novella
"Beautiful, different and touching. Short, sweet and lovely. Made me cry. You sense that this is a true story veiled in the guise of fiction as are all the best stories."
Although ostensibly set in England, this story was penned by an Irish bookseller under the pseudonym of Ralph St John Featherstonehaugh.
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