Bernard Mulrenin, Miniature Painter

(b. 1803, d. 1868)

Miniature Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was born in the county of Sligo, of humble parentage, in 1803. As a child he evinced a talent for drawing and, encouraged in his efforts by some of the local gentry, he obtained by the time he was twenty some little practice as a miniature painter in his native county. In 1825 he came to Dublin and exhibited some of his works in the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1826. The rest of his life he passed in Dublin and enjoyed a considerable practice as a miniature painter, especially after the death of Comerford and the departure of Lover to London. He was appointed miniature painter to the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Clarendon, in 1848. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Hibernian Academy on 27th May, 1837, and a Member in 1860, and was a regular exhibitor of miniatures, with an occasional oil portrait, from 1826 to 1866. In 1839 and 1840 he exhibited some small portraits on marble. These were painted upon a faint impression from a photograph transferred to marble. He had enthusiastically taken up photography as an aid to portrait painting, and read a paper before the Photographic Society descriptive of his process of painting upon marble. He died at No. 23 Great Brunswick Street, Dublin, where he had resided since 1837, on the 22nd March, 1868. Mulrenin's miniatures were generally done on large square pieces of ivory; they are laboured in execution, with excessive stippling, feeble in drawing and lacking in power and vitality.

Among works by him are:

Rev. Dr. Anderdon. Painted on marble. R.H.A., 1859.

John Banim. Belonged to the late Dr. Frazer of Harcourt Street.

R. G. H. Butcher, surgeon, R.H.A., 1849.

Lord Cloncurry. Oil picture; formerly in the Dublin Library, D'Olier Street, to which it was presented by the artist; afterwards in possession of Dr. J. J. Kenny, of Rutland Square, at whose sale it was bought by R. Reddy, dealer.

Edward S. Cooper, of Markree. R.H.A., 1853.

Mrs. Cooper, of Markree. R.H.A., 1853.

Dr. Corrigan. R.H.A, 1849.

Matthew D'Arcy. R.H.A., 1860.

John T. Gilbert. R.H.A., 1861.

Martin Haverty. R.H.A., 1861.

John Hogan, sculptor. Drawing in Indian ink. [National Gallery of Ireland.]

Sir Thomas Larcom. R.H.A., 1861.

Denis Florence MacCarthy. R.H.A., 1858.

Archbishop McHale. R.H.A., 1841.

Daniel O'Connell. Painted in 1836. [National Portrait Gallery.]

Charles O'Conor of Belanagare. Water-colour; a copy of a picture in possession of O'Conor Don. [National Gallery of Ireland.]

Maurice O'Connell, M.P. R.H.A., 1853.

Eugene O'Curry. R.H.A., 1861.

John O'Donovan. R.H.A., 1861.

A. Carew O'Dwyer. R.H.A., 1827.

George Petrie. R.H.A., 1851 and 1853. In the National Gallery of Ireland is a portrait of Petrie painted over a photograph.

Sir William R. Wilde. R.H.A., 1846.

Lady Wilde. R.H.A., 1863.

The Annunciation. Oil picture; painted for the Rev. John Beahan, P,P., Newcastle, Co. Limerick. R.H.A., 1860.

View of the College of Surgeons, Dublin. Drawing. R.H.A., 1828. Lithographed and published by Allen, Dame Street, in 1828, 9 by 14 inches.

Mulrenin did a few lithographs, including the "Marquess of Anglesey, Lord Lieutenant"; "Marie Taglioni," 1834, and a "View of the Palace of Cloyne."

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