Joseph Watkins, Sculptor

(b. 1838, d. 1871)


From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Joseph Watkins, R.H.A. Photograph.

Was born in the county of Fermanagh in 1838. He was for some time a clerk in a Dublin shop, but having a taste for art he entered himself as a pupil in the Dublin Society's Schools, and there carried off several prizes and three silver medals for modelling, as well as gaining medals from the Science and Art Department in London, He exhibited a bust of B. Colles Watkins (q.v.), the landscape painter, in the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1864, and soon after went to Rome where he studied under Bompiani. On his return to Ireland he settled down as a sculptor, chiefly of portrait busts, and soon became fully employed. He sent six busts to the Hibernian Academy in 1867, the year of his return from Italy, and continued as an exhibitor until his death. He was elected an Associate of the Academy on 17th October, 1868, and a full Member on 26th May, 1869. He exhibited busts at the Royal Academy in London in 1867, 1868 and 1870, and also contributed to the Society of British Artists.

His chief work was in portraiture, and during his short career as a sculptor he modelled with much truth and spirit a number of well-known persons in Ireland. He also executed a few church monuments and several ideal busts which show much feeling and graceful fancy. He had his studio at No. 2 Leinster Street, and afterwards, from 1870, at No. 6 St. Stephen's Green. Of undoubted talent and great earnestness in pursuing his profession, he was advancing rapidly in his art, when his life was prematurely cut short. He died, after a short illness, at his residence, 49 Belgrave Square, Rathmines, on the 22nd November, 1871, in his thirty-third year. He was buried at Mount Jerome.

His Portrait Busts include:

Edward, 4th Viscount Bangor. R.H.A., 1871.

John Barrington, Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1865. R.H.A., 1867.

R. P. Bayley, High Sheriff of Roscommon. R.H.A., 1870.

Sir Alan Bellingham.

Lady Bellingham. R.H.A., 1871.

Francis Brooke. R.H.A., 1870.

Sir Victor Brooke. R.H.A., 1870.

Lady Brooke. R.H.A., 1870.

Sir Bernard Burke. R.H.A., 1872, after sculptor's death.

Hon. H. A. Cole, M.P. R.H.A., 1867.

Hon. John Cole, M.P. R.H.A., 1867.

Maurice Colles, M.D. R.H.A., 1871. Executed for the Meath Hospital.

Major-General Colomb. R.H.A., 1869.

John, Viscount Crichton, afterwards 4th Earl of Erne. R.H.A., 1869.

Charles Dickens. R.H.A., 1871.

William, 3rd Earl of Enniskillen. R.A., 1867; R.H.A., 1867.

John, 3rd Earl of Erne. R.H.A., 1869.

Rev. Charles Fleming. R.H.A., 1867. Done from a photograph.

Alfred Grey, R.H.A. R.H.A., 1871.

Sir George Hodson. R.H.A., 1868.

Lady Hodson. R.H.A., 1868.

Mrs. Jellett. R.H.A., 1868.

Professor Jukes. R.H.A., 1870. [College of Science, Dublin.]

Edwin Lyne. R.H.A., 1869.

Henry MacManus, R.H.A. R.H.A., 1870.

Mrs. Madden, of Hilton. R.H.A., 1869.

William Magee, Bishop of Peterborough. [Library, T.C.D.] R.H.A., 1870.

John Maunsell, of Oakley Park. R.H.A., 1868. Executed for the Savings Bank at Celbridge.

Robert Mayne, M.D. R.H.A., 1867. Done from a photograph.

George F. Mulvany, R.H.A. R.H.A., 1869. Plaster. [National Gallery of Ireland.]

Lord O'Hagan. [National Museum, Kildare Street.]

Rev. A. M. Pollock, Chaplain to Magdalen Asylum, Leeson Street. R.H.A., 1867. Done from a photograph.

Julia, Viscountess of Powerscourt. [Viscount Powerscourt.]

Miss Catterson Smith, R.H.A., 1868.

Robert Sullivan, LL.D. R.H.A., 1869.

Richard C. Trench, Abp. of Dublin. R.A., 1868. R.H.A., 1868.

John Wardell. R.H.A., 1868.

Bartholomew Colles Watkins, R.H.A. R.H.A., 1864.

Monument to Alexander MacCarthy. Bronze bust; with three medallions, in bronze, of Milesius, King of Spain, and Heber and Oliol Olum, Kings of Munster. R.H.A., 1876.

Monuments in Armagh and Waterford Cathedrals.

Summer. Bust of a young girl.

Star of Hope. Ideal bust.

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