Sir Thomas Farrell, Sculptor

(b. 1827, d. 1900)


From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Sir Thomas Farrell, P.R.H.A. Photograph

Was born in 1827, the third son of Terence Farrell (q.v.). He entered the Modelling School of the Royal Dublin Society in 1843 where he studied under Constantine Panormo, and in the same year obtained not only a prize there for an original design but also one from the Royal Irish Art Union for his two groups of "Boys and Dog" and "Boys and Goat." These were afterwards executed in marble for the Lord Lieutenant, Earl De Grey. Next year, while still a student, he again won the Art Union prize of ten pounds with his "Nisus and Euryalus" which was purchased by the Royal Dublin Society; and in 1846 his "Young Bather Surprized, or Boy and Swans," gained for him a prize of five pounds. He first contributed to the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1849, and he continued as a frequent, though not regular, exhibitor until his death. In 1852 he competed for the Memorial to Archbishop Murray and his design was accepted. When he had completed the full-sized models of the Archbishop and the two emblematic figures of "Meekness" and "Prudence," he went to Italy to select the marble and spent some time in Rome and Florence. On the completion of Archbishop Murray's monument many other important commissions followed.

In Dublin his work is represented by the statues of "Sir Alexander McDonnell" in front of Tyrone House, "Lord Ardilaun" in St. Stephen's Green, "Sir John Gray" in Sackville Street, "William Smith O'Brien" on the south side of Carlisle Bridge, "William Dargan" and "Sir Robert Stewart" his last and least successful work, in Leinster Lawn. In the Four Courts are his statues of "R. L. Shiel" and "Lord O'Hagan"; in Marlborough Street Church those of "Archbishop Murray" and "Cardinal Cullen"; in St. Patrick's Cathedral "Captain J. McNeill Boyd, R.N.," and the recumbent figure of "Archbishop Whateley," and in the Royal College of Surgeons the statue of "Dr. William Dease." In Glasnevin Cemetery, among other works by him, are a statue of "Barry Sullivan" and a recumbent figure of "Cardinal McCabe." A statue of "Archbishop McHale" is in Tuam and one of "Bishop Butler" in Limerick.

Sir Thomas Farrell, P.R.H.A. Photograph

During his long career Farrell was also much employed in statuary and sculpture for Roman Catholic Churches, and his brothers John, Joseph and William assisted him in the carving of his works in marble. He did not become connected with the Royal Hibernian Academy until 1860, when his name was included as a Member in the new Charter granted that year. He took a great interest in the affairs of the institution, was its Treasurer for some years, and on the death of Sir Thomas Jones he was, on 13th October, 1893, elected President. He received the honour of knighthood the following year.

For many years Farrell had a lucrative practice, but his commissions fell off, mainly through the cessation of ecclesiastical work in Ireland, and his latter days were passed in straitened circumstances. Though generous and hospitable to his friends he was a man of retiring disposition and diffident about his work. In his statues and busts he was successful in getting the characteristic features of his subject, and his best works are well posed and strongly modelled. He was less happy in his imaginative work. He lived at first in Mecklenburgh Street, from 1851 to 1858 in Gloucester Street, and afterwards for some years in Warrington Place and 30 Mountjoy Square. For the last few years of his life he resided at Redesdale, Stillorgan, and there he died on the 2nd July, 1900. He was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery. He never married.

His principal works are:

Lord Ardilaun. Bronze Statue. [St. Stephen's Green.] Erected as a memorial by the citizens of Dublin to commemorate his munificence in laying out St. Stephen's Green and throwing it open to the public. Unveiled 18th June, 1892.

Lord Ardilaun. Bust; R.H.A., 1892.

Michael W. Balfe. Bust. [National Gallery of Ireland.] Executed for the Balfe Memorial Committee and presented to the Gallery in 1879.

Mrs. Ball. Bust. [Rathfarnham Convent.]

Master Barton. Statue; R.H.A., 1861; Dublin Ex., 1853.

Captain J. M'Neill Boyd, R.N. Statue. [St. Patrick's Cathedral.]

William Burke of Currelea. Statue in Portland stone. [The Square, Tuam.]

Bishop Butler. Statue. [Limerick]

Sir Charles A. Cameron. Bust. [Royal College of Surgeons.] R.H.A., 1894.

Cardinal Cullen. Statue. [Marlborough Street Church.] R.H.A., 1881.

William Dargan. Bronze statue. [Leinster Lawn, in front of National Gallery.] Erected to commemorate his active interest in the industrial progress of Ireland. Unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Carlisle, on 30th January, 1864.

Surgeon William Dease. Statue. [Royal College of Surgeons.] Commissioned by his grandson, Matthew O'Reilly Dease, as a gift to the College. The sculptor's charge was £600. R.H.A., 1886.

Canon Doyle. Bust. [Westland Row Church.]

Miss Duguid. Bust.

Robert Emmett. Statue. R.H.A., 1885. Executed for the Emmett Memorial Committee.

Mrs. Goodbody. Bust.

Edmund Dwyer Gray. Bust.

Sir John Gray. Statue. [Sackville Street.] Model in R.H.A., 1876. Erected in 1879.

Sir John Gray. Bust. [Roundwood Reservoir.] R.H.A., 1889.

Sir John Gray. Bust. [Glasnevin Cemetery.] A replica of foregoing.

Sir Richard Griffith. Bust. [Royal Dublin Society.] R.H.A., 1881.

John Gunn. Bust. [Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.] R.H.A., 1881.

Sir George Hodson, Bart. Bust. [Rathdown Union.] R.H.A., 1885.

Sir Patrick Keenan. Bust. [Tyrone House.] R.H.A., 1889.

Rev. Thomas Leahy, P.P. of Sandymount. Mural tablet with medallion portrait. [Sandymount R.C. Church.]

Cardinal McCabe. Recumbent figure on tomb. [Glasnevin Cemetery.]

Denis Florence McCarthy, poet. Bust. [Blackrock College.]

Sir Alexander MacDonnell. Statue. [In front of Tyrone House.] Erected in 1878. Model in R.H.A., 1876.

John McHale, Archbp. of Tuam. Statue. [The Square, Tuam.]

Rev. Dr. Marks. Monument with bust. [St. Patrick's Cathedral.]

Alderman Joseph Meade. Bust. R.H.A., 1894.

Alderman Moore. Bust.

William Murphy. Bust.

Daniel Murray, Archbp. of Dublin. Statue. [Marlborough Street Church.] Erected in 1855.

Cardinal Newman. Bust. [University Chapel, St. Stephen's Green.] R.H.A., 1892.

William Smith O'Brien. Statue. [South side of Carlisle Bridge.] Unveiled 26th Dec., 1870.

Dean O'Connell Monument. [Sandymount R.C. Church.]

Lord O'Hagan. Statue. [Four Courts.] Modelled in 1885; erected in 1887.

Thomas Pim. Bust.

John Hatch Power, Surgeon. Bust. [Royal College of Surgeons.] Presented by a Committee of Subscribers.

Mrs. Reid, wife of American Consul in Dublin. Bust.

Father Reiffe. Bust. [Blackrock College.] R.H.A., 1899.

Canon Roche. Statue. [Cathedral Square, Wexford.] R.H.A., 1888.

T. Sexton. Bust. [City Hall.] R.H.A., 1893.

Richard Lalor Sheil. Statue. [Four Courts.]

Major Singleton. Bust.

Mrs. Speedy. Bust.

Sir Robert Stewart. Statue. [Leinster Lawn.] Erected as a memorial to him in 1898.

Barry Sullivan as "Hamlet." Statue. [Glasnevin Cemetery.] Unveiled in 1894.

Queen Victoria, Statue. [Guildhall, Derry.]

Richard Whately, Archbp. of Dublin. Recumbent figure. [St. Patrick's Cathedral.] Originally erected in north transept; now in south transept.

Waterloo. Alto-relievo, in bronze from guns taken at Waterloo; 35 ft. by 7 ft; figures life-size. [Base of Wellington Testimonial, Phoenix Park.]

Boys and Dog/Boys and Goat. Obtained the £10 prize from R.I. Art Union in 1843. Executed in Marble for Earl De Grey. [Wrest Park, Bedfordshire.]

Nisus and Euryalus. Obtained the £10 prize from R.I. Art Union in 1844. Purchased by the Royal Dublin Society.

Young Bather surprised, or Boy and Swans. Obtained the £5 prize from R.I. Art Union in 1846. Purchased for £50, and won as a prize by Miss Hall of Lurgan.

Innocent Amusement. R.H.A., 1849.

Girl with a Dog. [Viscount Powerscourt.] A replica in R.A. was purchased by a Mr. Gerstenberg.

A Little Dunce. R.H.A., 1861; Dublin Ex., 1872.

The Nymph Eucharis and Love. R.H.A., 1861.

The Little Pet. R.A., 1869; R.H.A., 1869.

Sursum Corda. A female figure, executed in marble for Christopher Palles. [Tomb of Mrs. Palles, Glasnevin Cemetery.] R.H.A., 1888.

The Lost One. R.H.A., 1852; Dublin Ex., 1853.

The Angelic Mission. R.H.A., 1858.

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